Olympic Eagles head coach Imama Amapakabo is confident of a good start at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The defending Champions will begin the defence of the title they won four years ago against Cote d’l voice at the Al Salam Stadium on Saturday.
“We have players in camp here who are ready to give their all and do Nigeria proud any day, any time. We are quietly confident, and will take it one match at a time,” told nff.com
“We are quite aware that as defending champions, so much is expected of us. This team will throw everything into the battle and ensure it does not disappoint Nigerians.”
Amapakabo has been able to welcome the majority of his listed overseas-based professionals, and with the complement of glory –hungry home-based professionals, expects to brush aside the challenge of the Ivorians, Zambia and South Africa in the group phase.
Former FIFA U17 World Cup –winning captain Kelechi Nwakali will be stand –in captain, and will be expected to supply the ammunition from the midfield for the strikers, including his former U17 team mate Orji Okwonkwo, to make hay at the fore.
The Nigeria team is brimming with hard workers, such as defenders Valentine Ozornwafor, Olisah Ndah, Sincere Seth and Anthony Izuchukwu, and midfielders Sunusi Ibrahim, Muyiwa Olabiran, Ndifreke Effiong.
England –based Tom Dele-Bashiru, who starred for the Nigeria U20 team at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland this year summer, will be expected to provide some top competition experience and steel in the middle.
The game will kick-off at 3pm local time (2pm local time).