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AYC: Obuh not sweating on Europe-based pros

Flying Eagles coach John Obuh will not be planning for the 2013 African Youth Championship with the Europe-based players in mind as he hopes to focus on building the team with players from the domestic league.

The 2011 AYC winning coach is aware of the problems associated with the release of players by European clubs for the African competition and is hoping to avoid a similar situation he faced when he battled to have Ahmed Musa join the national team from Dutch club VVV Venlo in 2011.

The Flying Eagles began camping in Abuja on Sunday with 12 players but Obuh is confident of having his best men available for the competition which holds in Algeria from March 16 to 30.

“The European clubs don’t recognise the AYC because FIFA doesn’t have it in its calendar, so it is difficult for them to release any player for the competition,” Obuh told our correspondent on Monday.

“I don’t have any foreign-based player in camp yet but I’m not having sleepless nights over that. I’m building the team with players available in Nigeria. If any Europe-based player wants to join the team, he will have to make the effort on his own.

“The problems we had while trying to have Ahmed Musa join the team at the last edition in South Africa almost disrupted our game plans. That won’t happen again.”

Nigeria are in Group B alongside Mali, DR Congo and Gabon. Hosts, Algeria, are in Group A with Ghana, Egypt and Benin.

“The important thing for me now is for the Nigeria Football Federation to approve the programmes for the team so as to help the team concentrate on preparation,” he said.

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