Players from the Nigeria Premier League who have been clamouring for a chance to exhibit their skills in the senior national team, the Super Eagles will have the opportunity to do so in February as the new helmsman of the team, Samsion Siasia has now beamed his searchlight on them.
Siasia, whose trip to Europe to meet some of the players was thwarted by the snowy weather, is expected to lead a squad of players from Nigeria’s domestic league to an invitational tournament in the USA in February.
Siasia has called up 30 players from the local league, which secured a new sponsor last week, in preparation for the United States President’s Day Celebration Soccer Invitational Tournament, the Green Soccer Bowl.
The tournament takes place between February 12-20, 2011 and will feature eight teams.
The competition in honour of United States President Barack Obama will take place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, venue of Nigeria’s first-ever FIFA World Cup finals match, which ended in a 3-0 defeat of Bulgaria in June 1994.
Already, the Draw for the tournament has been made with the Super Eagles having to contend with Iraq, Poland and Malaysia in Group A, while Egypt, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kenya and Bahrain will play in Group B.
Siasia is currently on holidays with his family but will return in January to start camping on January 10 with his players.
Three goalkeepers, eight defenders, seven midfielders and 12 strikers have been invited to the camp in Abuja.
THE FULL SQUAD
GOALKEEPERS: Bassey Akpan (Heartland), Chigozie Agbim (Wolves), Ogwu Chinedu (Kad Utd). DEFENDERS: Nwabili Valentine (Enyimba), Chibuzor Okonkwo, Gege Soriola (Heartland), John Agbawu (Lobi), Wasiu Sowemimo (Pillars), Bartholomew Akakem (Ocean Boys), Kenneth Omeruo (Sunshine), ThankGod Ike (Wolves). MIDFIELDERS: Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Julius Ubido (Heartland), Rabiu Ali (Pillars), ThankGod Amaefule (Sharks), Daniel Mende, Cletus Itodo (Sunshine), Uche Kalu (Enyimba).
FORWARDS: Gbolahan Salami (3SC), Osas Okoro (Heartland), Moses Ogaga, John Huan (Pillars), Ekigho Ehiosun (Wolves), Frederick Okpara, Ejike Uzoenyi (Rangers), Kabiru Waziri (Plateau Utd), Femi Balogun (Kad Utd), Lazarus Chukwu (Gombe), Stanley Okoronkwo (Sharks), Abdul Jelil Ajagun (Dolphin)