Coach Samson Siasia has invited 22 home –based professionals and 20 overseas –based players for Nigeria’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-take against the Pharaohs of Egypt this month.
Siasia, who was named last week as Super Eagles’ Head Coach, passionately appealed to all Nigerians, including the sporting media, to rally round the team and show belief as the Eagles host the Egyptians in Kaduna on Friday, March 25 and play away in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29.
The 22 home –boys are expected to hit camp at the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Sunday, March 6 before the overseas –based boys arrive as from Sunday, March 20.
“I want to passionately appeal to Nigerians, everybody, to show belief in the team and give us total support. It will not be easy, but if we stick together and present a united force to fight this battle, I believe we will triumph.
“I have absolute faith in the players. Nigeria is blessed with so many talented footballers across the world and I know that those we are inviting for this match will give everything for the six points in both matches. Personally, I will give everything that I have to offer for us to win both matches.”
The former Nigeria captain, who was in the same position between December 2010 and October 2011, assured that only the best players who “showed ability to run and decimate the opposition” will be given opportunity in both matches.
Regulars Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olufemi Thomas, Kalu Orji Okogbue, Austin Oboroakpo, Chima Akas, Ezekiel Bassey and Chisom Chikatara are in the home based mix, while Carl Ikeme, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile, Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon and Fanendo Adi are among the overseas –based legion.
HOME –BASED PROFESSIONALS
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Olufemi Thomas (Enyimba FC); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Kalu Orji Okogbue (Enugu Rangers); Chibuzor Okonkwo (FC IfeanyiUbah); Mathew Etim (Enugu Rangers); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors); Sincere Seth (Rhapsody FC); Segun Oduduwa (Nath Boys); Chima Akas (Akwa United); Chris Madaki (Kano Pillars); Oke Ogogatewho (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders: Ifeanyi Mathew (Kano Pillars); Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Yau Hassan (Wikki Tourists); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves)
Forwards: Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Prince Aggrey (Kano Pillars); Bright Onyedikachi (FC IfeanyiUbah); Chisom Chikatara (Abia Warriors); Godwin Obaje (Wikki Tourists)
OVERSEAS –BASED PROFESSIONALS
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Matalyspor, Turkey)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (West Ham United, England); Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers, USA)
Ogenyi Onazi, who got a red card against Chad on Day 1 of the series, is eligible for the Day 4 match against the Pharaohs in Alexandria.