Coach of the U23 team of Nigeria Imama Amapakabo released a list of 33 players for camping ahead of the upcoming Africa U23 Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Libya.
A look at the list showed he called up four goalkeepers, nine defenders, ten midfielders and ten forwards. Owngoalnigeria.com take a look at the players who merit a place in the list and those who should have been considered in the squad.
Goalkeepers : If there’s one area where no one can should fault the coach is in the department of goalkeepers. Maybe his background as a goalkeeper during his playing days helped him in selecting arguably the best four goalkeepers under the age of 23 in the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) ….. Verdict – Hit
Defenders : The call ups look decent from afar but followers of the NPFL will fault the non-inclusion of Kano Pillars defender Sunday Chinedu who has scored three goals from his role as central defender.
Austin Ugochukwu who hardly plays at Pillars where Chinedu is king was listed and Enugu Rangers Chidera Eze was listed as a defender although since joining Rangers last season he has played as a forward.
Imama also listed three left full backs in Chiwendu Ali, Ebube Duru and Udochukwu Anumudu which means Oghene Elijah who can play in any role in the back four with ease as seen in his display for Plateau United missed out….Verdict – Miss
Midfielders: The one name missing from the list has to be Kano Pillars Auwalu Ali Mallam bar his non inclusion, the others on the list truly deserve their spot although Abba Umar who plays ahead of William Ukeme who was called up from Wikki Tourist should have made the list…… Verdict – Hit
Forwards : One will argue that the the trio of Victor Mbaoma of Remo Stars, Samson Obi of Abia Warriors and Sunusi Ibrahim of Nasarawa United should have made the list. Particularly when a player like Solomon Nsude who is yet to play a game for FC Ifeanyi Ubah is included….. Verdict –Miss
THE INVITED PLAYERS
Goalkeepers: Amos Benjamin (Bayelsa United); Makanjuola Adewale (Ekiti United); Anozie Chinedu (FC IfeanyiUbah); Stanley Nwabili (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: John Lazarus (Lobi Stars); Chidera Eze (Rangers International); Anumudu Udochukwu (Lobi Stars); Austin Ugochukwu (Kano Pillars); Chinedu Ajana (Katsina United); Kehinde Adeyemi (Sunshine Stars); Ndah Olisah (Remo Stars); Chinwendu Ali (Yobe Stars); Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars)
Midfielders: Ayobami Junior (Shooting Stars); Isah Ndala (Nasarawa United); William Ukeme (Wikki Tourists); Olatunji Matthew (Enyimba FC); Seth Mayi (Plateau United); Yusuf Maigoro (Kano Pillars); Iwuala Anayo (Kada City); Cletus Emotan (Rivers United); Chigozie Obasi (Sunshine Stars); Chukwudi Agor (ASJ, Owerri)
Forwards: Etiboy Akpan (Akwa United); Anas Mohammed (Shooting Stars); Chijoke Alaekwe (FC IfeanyiUbah); Shamman Tanze (Kano Pillars); Agboola Joshua (Katsina United); Wari Williams (Nasarawa United); Ebuka Okeke (Lamray United); Tolu Ojo (Remo Stars); Wasiu Alalade (Enyimba FC); Solomon Nsude (FC IfeanyiUbah)