The senior national team players have begun preparation for the double header friendly games in Abu Dhabi after they had their first work on Friday night
Super Eagles players had their first workout at 7.30pm local time on Friday evening in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ahead of their first friendly match with the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday.
The Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON after they were dusted out by the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the qualifiers and they are using the games with Ivory Coast and Sudan to test their preparedness for the upcoming competitions.
The Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national team, had on Friday morning landed in the UAE for the two international friendlies with pomp and pageantry.
The Emirates Airliner that the team boarded from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Thursday night landed at the Dubai International Airport at about 5:30am local time, which is 2:30am in Nigeria. After airport formalities the team of 19 players and officials took a jolly bus ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, a journey of about an hour.
On hand to welcome the team was new face Steven Ukoh, who plays his football with Swiss side, FC Biel. He was quite joyous to link up with the Nigerian team for the first time and declared that he can’t remember ever Nigeria, except as a child. But his quick mix-up with the rest of the players whom he has never met before must be commended.
The team is quartered at the serene Crown Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi and will have its first training session by 7:30pm local time, which is 4:30pm in Nigeria to start preparations for its first match against the Ivoriens January 11.
The 20 players in the Eagles squad: Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United); Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves); Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars)
Defenders: Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Idris Aloma (El-Kanemi FC); Chimma Akas (Sharks FC); Nelson Ogbonna (Heartland FC); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC
Midfielders: Joseph Nathaniel (Sharks FC); Charles Henlong (Giwa FC); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba FC); Austin Godspower, Steven Ukoh (FC Biel, Swizerland)
Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves);Gambo Muhammad (Kano Pillars); Christian Obiozor (Enugu Rangers).