Team captain Ikouwem Utin and forwards Yahaya Nazifi and Effiom Maxwell are among 21 players listed by Nigeria’s under-20 male team for the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic.
Utin, a wingback with Enyimba International Football Club of Aba, won a silver medal at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
Nazifi recently signed contract with a Danish club, while Maxwell was Man-of-the-Match in the 4-2 defeat of Ghana’s Black Satellites at the WAFU Under-20 Cup Tournament in Togo last month.
Aigbogun has also included goalkeepers Detan Ogundare, Akpan Udoh and Olawale Oremade, as well as defender Mike Zaruma, midfielders Peter Eletu, Quadri Liameed and Aniekeme Okon, and forwards Adeshina Gata and Ibrahim Abubakar.
Defender Valentine Ozornwafor, who also play for Enyimba, midfielder Jamil Muhammad of Kano Pillars and Oasis FC forward Ibrahim Aliyu have also been included in the Nigeria squad.
The seven-times African champions will be buoyed by three foreign-based professionals — Igoh Ogbu of Rosenburg FC of Norway, Afeez Aremu of IK Stat FC, also in Norway, and Denmark-based Nazifi.
The list has been submitted to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Nigeria take on Burundi’s Junior Itamba in their first match of the 2019 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations on Feb. 2 at the Stade General Seyni Kountche.
This will be hours after Niger Republic’s Junior Mena would have fought it out with South Africa’s Amajita in the competition’s opening match at the same venue.
The Flying Eagles will then face South Africa on Feb. 5, before tangling with Niger Republic on Feb. 8 in their final match of the group phase.
FLYING EAGLES FOR 2019 U20 AFCON
Goalkeepers: Akpan Udoh (Unattached); Olawale Oremade (Oasis FC); Detan Ogundare (Kogi United)
Defenders: Mike Zaruma (Plateau United); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba International); Igoh Ogbu (Rosenburg FC, Norway); Solomon Ogberahwe (El-Kanemi Warriors); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba International); Olasunkanmi Aliyu (Emmanuel Amuneke Academy)
Midfielders: Peter Eletu (Prince Kazeem Academy); Quadri Liameed (36 Lions); Aniekeme Okon (Akwa United); Jamil Muhammad (Kano Pillars); Afeez Aremu (IK Stat, Norway)
Forwards: Adamu Alhassan (Kano Pillars); Yahaya Nazifi (Sonderjyske FC, Denmark); Ibrahim Aliyu (Oasis FC); Adeshina Gata (Wikki Tourists); Ibrahim Abubakar (Plateau United); Okoh Victor (Real Sapphire FC); Maxwell Effiom (Enyimba International)