Twenty three of the 24 players invited for the crunch CHAN qualifier tie against the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire. were in camp as at Monday morning.
Only Elkanemi’s Haruna Babalo, who was a late replacement for Tony Okputu of Lobi Stars, that recently signed a contract with a Libyan top division side, was not in camp, as home based stars began training.
Sadly, Kano Pillars Zango Umar could not train with rest of the squad as he was nursing an injury he picked up in his club’s last Glo League clash against Dolphins of Port Harcourt.
Team’s medical crew have already done a scan on him to determine the extent of damage. It was after consulting with Head Coach Stephen Keshi that the player was excused from camp.
Zango’s teammate, Adamu Murtala, has been invited as his replacement. “But the problem we have is that Murtala is foot-dragging and we want him urgently in camp”, Assistant Coach Dan ‘the bull’ Amokachi said during lunch time on Monday.
Monday morning training featured 22 players and was supervised by head coach, Stephen Keshi at the training pitch of the Abuja National Stadium.
Keshi told the players before training commenced that they have a herculean task of becoming the first set of Nigerians to play in the CHAN tournament in South Africa next year if they can surmount the Ivorien hurdle.
“Let me say I have absolute confidence in you to achieve the feat of defeating Cote D’ Ivoire, but you must have belief in yourself to achieve the set goal”.
The team will train twice today, before departing Abuja for Kaduna the match venue tomorrow morning according to revised programme of the team. The Eagles will resume its build up for the game on Wednesday evening in Kaduna for the game scheduled for the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Saturday.