International friendlies: 15 Eagles begin training in Belgium

Home-based Eagles

The Super Eagles on Monday commenced training for the two international friendlies in Belgium, with 15 players at the R. Battice FC training ground on Monday evening.

England –based midfielder John Mikel Obi led goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, defenders Elderson Echiejile, Efe Ambrose, William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun, midfielders Sylvester Igbonu, Rabiu Ibrahim, Ogenyi Onazi and Obiora Nwankwo and forwards Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Emmanuel Emenike and Alex Iwobi at training on Monday evening.

Eagles’ Team administrator Enebi Achor informed that the team will train twice on Tuesday (10am and 4pm) at the same venue.

Defender Godfrey Oboabona is also having visa issues in Turkey, as his international passport is yet to be released by the Belgian Embassy in that country.

Also, Super Eagles’ officials on ground may need to secure the services of a temporary physiotherapist for massage and medical matters if by Tuesday, the team’s medical crew (part of the delegation that is held up in Abuja) is not issued visas to join the group in Belgium.

Six home -based professionals are in the delegation yet to be issued visas in Abuja. These are goalkeepers Femi Thomas and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defender Chima Akas and Austin Oboroakpo, midfielder Paul Onobi and forward Prince Aggrey.

The Super Eagles take on the Leopards of Democratic Republic of Congo in Vise, Liege on Thursday before playing the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Dendermonde on Sunday.

Eaglets tackle Argentina at AFA Centre

Nigeria’s U-17 side, Golden Eaglets, will on Tuesday have their work cut out when they tackle their Argentine counterparts in a friendly match at the Argentina Football Association (AFA) Training Centre in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires.

The match, which is part of the team’s preparation towards the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, will kick off at 3:30 pm local time (7:30pm Nigerian time).

In a related development, Golden Eaglets’ assistant coach, Kabiru Baleria, has yet again heaped plaudits on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over its choice of Buenos Aires Football (BAF) as the training camp for the national U-17 team ahead of U-17 World Cup finals.

The Emmanuel Amuneke -led side have spent few days at the idyllic BAF complex owned by formerArgentine international, Matias Almeyda and Baleria said the quiet environment has added value to the team’s preparation, even as players battle for competition.

“It is nice we are here for our preparation towards the World Cup in Chile,” said Baleria, a former Nigerian International ” The boys are happy and you can see the excitement on their faces since we arrived here in Buenos Aires.”

The team has been training twice daily since arriving on Friday and the technical crew is delighted at the keen competition in camp.

Coach Amuneke praised the intensity of the training and demanded further commitment from the players, adding that much was being expected from the team in Chile.

“I’m happy with the intensity of the training but we can get better,” Amuneke said on Monday.” We have to keep working hard in the coming days because we have few days before our first match at the World Cup.”

NFF’s Assistant Director (Technical) Siji Lagunju, who is with the team in Buenos Aires, said he was impressed with the quality of training as well as the response of the players. He is also of the view that the players would in due time be well attuned to the demands of the technical crew.

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