SUPER Eagles head coach Samson Siasia has invited 42 players to camp ahead of this month’s two-legged African Nations Cup qualifiers against Egypt offering a recall to West Ham winger Victor Moses.
In March 25, the Eagles will take on the Egyptians in Kaduna and four days later they will play the return leg in Alexandra in what promises to be the tie of the round. Siasia, who recently replaced Sunday Oliseh as Eagles coach on an interim basis, is targeting six points from the two games and has handed Moses, who was estranged under Oliseh a recall.
Last month Oliseh resigned following continued disagreements with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and Siasia has been placed in temporary charge of the team. Siasia has opted to recall Moses to strengthen the attack and there are indications that for subsequent games he will call other players like Vincent Enyeama and Emmanuel Emenike who fell out with Oliseh and retired from international football.
Moses has not played for Nigeria since the 2014 World Cup rejected an olive branch from Oliseh and refused to turn up for the friendly matches against DR Congo and Cameroun in Belgium, last year saying he wanted to focus on his club football. Now, however, he is one of the 20 foreign-based players listed in the 42-man squad summoned for the two Group G matches.
Siasia also invited Aaron Samuel, who was a key member of the team under Oliseh’s predecessor Stephen Keshi but was frozen out by Oliseh in 14 official engagements. There are also a few surprise call-up as Siasia gambled with a few new comers including Fenando Adi of Portland Timbers in the US, Stanley Amuzie of Olhanense in Portugal and Aminu Umar, who plays for Osmanlispor in Turkey.
“I believe in the players I have listed and I want to passionately appeal to Nigerians to give us total support. It will not be easy but we will triumph.
“I will give everything that I have to offer for us to win both matches. The six points are very crucial,” Siaisia said.
A total of 20 foreign-based playerswill be joined by 22 home-based ones when the team’s camp opens in Abuja on Sunday. Although Siasia intensified talks to convince former goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and hit-man Emmanuel Emenike out of retirement, he admitted failure in trying to bring back the duo.
According to Siasia, he asked Enyeama to inform him when he is ready to play for the country once again as his experience can still be relied upon. He stressed the essence of the Africa Cup of Nations fixtures against Egypt, adding that Nigeria could not afford to lose the home tie to the Pharaohs.
Siasia said the NFF has helped him to acquire about six video tapes of the past games of the Pharaohs, which he is currently studying, adding that the tapes would guide him in mapping out his strategies to beat them in Kaduna. He, however, expressed worries about the weather in Kaduna, saying that the his band of foreign based players might struggle to cope with the heat.
Also, Siasia expressed worries over the availability of his selected home-based players due to their full involvement in the Nigeria Professional Football League, which has just resumed. He appealed to the NFF, to convince the League Management Company to suspend midweek league games so local players can focus and concentrate on the task against Egypt.
Foreign based players
Carl Ikeme, Wolves, England; Daniel Akpeyi, Chippa United, South Africa
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo, Kasimpasa FC; Turkey, Efe Ambrose, Celtic FC, Scotland; Elderson Echiejile, AS Monaco, France; Stanley Amuzie, Olhanense FC, Portugal; Abdullahi Shehu, Uniao da Madeira, Portugal; Godfrey Oboabona, Caykur Rizespor, Turkey.
Ogenyi Onazi, Lazio, Italy; John Mikel Obi, Chelsea FC, England; Kelechi Iheanacho, Manchester City, England; Azubuike Okechukwu, Yeni Matalyspor, Turkey.
Odion Ighalo, Watford FC, England; Aaron Samuel, CSKA Moscow, Russia; Alex Iwobi, Arsenal FC, England; Fanendo Adi, Portland Timbers, USA, Ahmed Musa, CSKA Moscow, Russia; Moses Simon, Gent, Belgium; Victor Moses, West Ham, England; Aminu Umar Osmanlispor FK, Turkey.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Olufemi Thomas (Enyimba FC); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers)
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)
Ifeanyi Mathew (Kano Pillars); Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Yau Hassan (Wikki Tourists); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves)
Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Prince Aggrey (Kano Pillars); Bright Onyedikachi (FC IfeanyiUbah); Chisom Chikatara (Abia Warriors); Godwin Obaje (Wikki Tourists).