Lobi Stars of Makurdi duo, John Lazarus and Ebube Duru as well as Ibrahim Ndala of Nasarawa United of Lafia are the most prominent names in a list of 35 players invited to the Olympic Eagles’ camp by Coach Imama Amapakabo, ahead of next month’s Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan.
The squad of only home-based players will first line out away to the Sudanese in Khartoum on 6th September, before return home to host the North Africans at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba four days later, with the winner on aggregate qualifying for the final tournament in Egypt.
The winner over two legs will qualify for the third U23 AFCON, which is billed for Egypt from 8th to 22nd November, from which Africa’s teams to next year’s male soccer event at the Tokyo Olympics will emerge.
To qualify for this stage of the series, Amapakabo’s wards lashed Libya 4-2 on aggregate, with the squad that was hugely populated by foreign-based players winning 4-0 at Stephen Keshi Stadium after a 2-0 first leg defeat in Ben Guardia, Tunisia; while Sudan eliminated Rwanda.
The full list of Amapakabo’s invitees, who are expected to arrive at Serob Legacy Hotel, Abuja on Thursday, includes Adamu Abubakar (Wikki Tourists); Galadima Mohammed (Nasarawa United); Amos Obasoge (Insurance FC); John Lazarus (Lobi Stars); Etboy Akpan (Akwa United); Haruna Garba (Jordano FC); Abiodun Joseph (Sunshine Stars); Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars); Ojo Adebayo (Water FC); and Joshua Akpedje (MFM FC).
Others are Ndah B (Remo Stars); Anumudu Udochukwu (Lobi Stars); Stephen Manyo (Enyimba FC); Family Ahmed (Adamawa United); Fatai Gbadamosi (Shooting Stars); Olatunji Oluwadamilare (Enyimba FC); Ndala Ibrahim (Nasarawa United); Seth Mayi (Remo Stars); William Ukeme (Wikki Tourists); Ibrahim Sanusi (Nasarawa United); Ndifreke Effiong (Akwa United); and Sunday Adetunji (Abia Warriors).
Also invited are Musa Ronaldo Suleiman (Katsina United); Chibundu Amah (Sunshine Stars); Joshua Agboola (Katsina United); Umar Abba (Wikki Tourists); Cletus Umotem (Rivers United); Muritala Tiye Yusuf (Shooting Stars); Michael Eranumu (Insurance FC); Ibe Tobechukwu (Abia Warriors); Stephen Wisdom Ikechi (Wilbros FC); ThankGod Simon (MFM FC); Tofa Alhassan (Green Barrot); Adegboyega Semiu Dapo (Stationery Stores); and Azeez Oseni (36 Lions).