Enyimba of Aba winger, Wasiu Alalade has received the opportunity to make up for the disappointment of missing out on a spot in Nigeria’s squad to the ongoing African U-20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic, as he has been included in the new under-23 national team list of invitees.
Alalade is one of 33 players invited by the squad’s new coach, Imama Amapakabo, who is set to build a formidable side to battle Libya in the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The first leg, which will be hosted by Libya in Tunisia, will hold between 20th and 22nd March, with 25th March for the return leg, ahead of which the invited players expected to start camping in Abuja on Wednesday.
Nigeria is the defending champion of the U23 AFCON, having defeated Algeria in the final of the second edition of the championship staged by Senegal in December 2015.
That victory earned ‘Dream Team 6’ a ticket to Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where they won the bronze medal.
Amapakabo will now aim to do better on both continental and global levels with ‘Dream Team 7,’ starting with the third U23 AFCON in Egypt from 8th to 22nd November.
With a huge task ahead of him, the former international goalkeeper will hope to start off on the right footing with his 33 invitees all in camp.
In a list that contains several unknown lads, Amapakabo, whose coaching crew also has Kennedy Boboye (first assistant coach), Fidelis Ilechukwu (2nd assistant coach) and Etta Egbe (goalkeepers’ trainer), has called up four goalkeepers, nine defenders, 10 midfielders and 10 forwards.
Amapakabo’s full list of invitees has – Goalkeepers: Amos Benjamin (Bayelsa United); Makanjuola Adewale (Ekiti United); Anozie Chinedu (FC IfeanyiUbah); Stanley Nwabili (Enyimba FC).
Defenders: John Lazarus (Lobi Stars); Chidera Eze (Rangers International); Anumudu Udochukwu (Lobi Stars); Austin Ugochukwu (Kano Pillars); Chinedu Ajana (Katsina United); Kehinde Adeyemi (Sunshine Stars); Ndah Olisah (Remo Stars); Chinwendu Ali (Yobe Stars); Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars).
Midfielders: Ayobami Junior (Shooting Stars); Isah Ndala (Nasarawa United); William Ukeme (Wikki Tourists); Olatunji Matthew (Enyimba FC); Seth Mayi (Plateau United); Yusuf Maigoro (Kano Pillars); Iwuala Anayo (Kada City); Cletus Emotan (Rivers United); Chigozie Obasi (Sunshine Stars); Chukwudi Agor (ASJ, Owerri).
Forwards: Etiboy Akpan (Akwa United); Anas Mohammed (Shooting Stars); Chijoke Alaekwe (FC IfeanyiUbah); Shamman Tanze (Kano Pillars); Agboola Joshua (Katsina United); Wari Williams (Nasarawa United); Ebuka Okeke (Lamray United); Tolu Ojo (Remo Stars); Wasiu Alalade (Enyimba FC); Solomon Nsude (FC IfeanyiUbah).