Nigeria have now picked the final 21-man team for the upcoming U20 African Cup of Nations scheduled for Egypt as from Saturday February 18, 2023.
According to a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the squad anchored by head coach Isah Ladan Bosso include majority home-based players with few Nigerians who play abroad.
They are Nathaniel Nwosu, Augustine Njoku, Solomon Agbalaka, Daniel Daga, Abel Ogwuche, Daniel Bameyi, Rilwanu Haliru Sarki, Nicholas Jonathan, Ahmed Abdullahi, Muhammad Aminu, Ibrahim Muhammad and Benjamin Frederick.
Others are Emmanuel Uchegbu, Onuche Ogbelu, Jude Sunday, Akanbi Saheed Jimoh, Ayuba Francis Abubakar, Samson Lawal, Olamilekan Adams, Caleb Ochedikwu, Chijioke Aniagboso.
Already, the team mostly known as the Flying Eagles have left Nigeria to Casablanca, Morocco for a one week training camp before moving into Egypt, a north African neighbouring country.
Ahead of the tournament, coach Bosso said he was optimistic that the Nigerian players will go all out to win a record eight continental title.
Nigeria, the most populous African nation have won the competition seven times.
“We have been able to sustain the same mood we had in camp before going for the WAFU B U20 Championship in Niamey, which we won. Since then, we have played a series of matches and scored plenty of goals, and that is immense for a winning mentality to stay within a team.
“However, we are not going to under-rate any of our opponents. Defeating Zambia in Abuja was good for confidence but we know championship mood would be tougher. We will be ready to do the country proud,” the coach said.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign in Egypt will be against Senegal’s Cub Lions at the Cairo International Stadium starting from 9pm Egypt time on Sunday February 19.
The Flying Eagles, two-time FIFA World Cup runners-up and one-time bronze medallists, will then face hosts Egypt on Wednesday, February 22 and Mozambique on Saturday February 25 at the same time and venue.
All four semi-finalists at the 12-team championship in Egypt will qualify to fly Africa’s flag at the FIFA U20 World Cup finals to be staged in Indonesia between May 20 and June 11, 2023.