Nigeria’s Under-23 head coach, Samson Siasia, has drafted four players of the victorious Golden Eaglets team into his squad for the forthcoming Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations.
Skipper, Kelechi Nwakali and golden boot winner, Victor Osimhen were joined by the defence duo of John Lazarus and Udochukwu Anumudu to the U-23 national team call-up. “I have been monitoring the progress of these boys while the team was being built by my brother, Emmanuel Amuneke. Don’t forget we were in the same hotel and used the same pitch to train and I have been impressed with what I saw them do in Chile, so I think what I just did was reward them for a job well done,” Siasia said.
Siasia, however, made it clear that the youngsters “must justify their invitation.”
“Their invitation is only to tell other players that they too can progress to the senior cadre if they are level-headed and keep working on their game. For me age is not a factor; if they can give me what I want, then they will be part of my team to Senegal. But they must justify their invitation for no player in my team has automatic shirt,” he stressed.
The four players are expected to join up with the under-23s in The Gambia ahead of the tournament in which Nigeria have been drawn in Group B with Algeria, Egypt and Mali.
By Olisemeka Obeche