Football - Nigeria names team to defend title at Algeria finals. Nigeria, defending champions of the African Youth Championship (AYC), on Wednesday released the final list of 21 players for the finals of the 2013 competition to be hosted by Algeria from 16-30 March.
A statement released by Mr Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director (Media) of the Nigeria Football Federation, said coach Sam John Obuh, who led the team to triumph in South Africa two years ago, had picked three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and five strikers as the team intensified its final preparations in Tunis.
At the top of the list is skipper Abduljeleel Ajagun, who was part of the squad that lifted the trophy in South Africa on 1 May, 2011. Also named are FIFA U-17 World Cup silver medalists Mohammed Goyi Aliyu, Aigbe Oliha, Edafe Egbedi and Olanrewaju Kayode.
Nigeria plays Mali, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo, in that order, in Group B of the 12th African Youth Championship. Host Algeria, Benin Republic, Ghana and Egypt clash in Group A.
The Flying Eagles will play all their group phase games in Oran, with their first match against Mali’s Junior Eagles on 17 March, Gabon on 20 March and Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 March.
The following is the final list:
Goalkeepers: Samuel Okani (Enyimba FC); Jonah Usman (ABS FC); Emmanuel Daniel (Rangers FC)
Defenders: Aigbe Oliha (Esperance Sportive de Zarzis); Goyi Aliyu; Abdullahi Shehu (Kano Pillars); Chizoba Amaefule (Dolphins FC); Ikechukwu Okorie (Enyimba FC); Kingsley Madu (El-Kanemi Warriors); Abubakar Hassan (Wikki Tourists FC)
Midfielders: Aminu Umar (Wikki Tourists FC); Abduljeleel Ajagun (Dolphins FC); Ovbokha Agboyi (Bayelsa United); Chidi Osuchukwu (Dolphins FC); Uche Agbo (Enyimba FC); Moses Orkuma (Lobi Stars)
Forwards: Bright Ejike (Heartland FC); Olanrewaju Kayode (Ansfed Utd, Turkey); Abdullahi Gero (Rangers FC); Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC); Edafe Egbedi (AGF-Aarhus, Denmark).