Nigeria name inexperienced CHAN squad
Nigeria have named an inexperienced 23-man squad for the African Nations Championship ahead of the home-based Super Eagles' third successive tournament appearance.
Coach Salisu Yusuf revealed his team for the 16-nation championship on Tuesday, with Nigeria pooled in Group C alongside Rwanda, Libya and Equatorial Guinea for the tournament involving home-based teams.
CAF Confederation Cup candidates and seven-time Nigeria league champions Enyimba are the best represented NFPL team in the squad, having contributed five players.
Yusuf has largely opted for players untested at either international and CAF club continental level, with teenage El-Kanemi Warriors left-wing sensation, Nura Mohammed, who is yet to make his professional league debut, top of the list.
The present team is comprised largely of players who impressed at the 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League Super Six and in the training camp which held for a fortnight in Abuja.
Sunday Faleye, Timothy Danladi, Ibrahim Mustapha, Ikouwem Udoh, and Mohammed -- a player who was only recently promoted from El-Kanemi Warriors' feeders during pre-season - represent risky picks by Yusuf, who will be aiming to improve on Nigeria's group-stage exit last time out.
Goalkeeper and captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Stephen Eze, Kalu Orji Okagbue, and Rabiu Ali are the only players on the squad with prior experience at the tournament.
This represents a sharp contrast from the two previous Nigeria teams named in 2014 and 2016, squads which were dominated by players with full international caps and exposure.
Nigeria begin their campaign against Rwanda at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier on Monday 15 January.
The Eagles play their second group game at the same venue against Libya on Friday 19 January and conclude their group participation against debutants Equatorial Guinea at Stade Adrar, Agadir on Tuesday 23 January 2018.
FULL TEAM LIST
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Oladele Ajiboye (Plateau United); Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Osas Okoro (Rangers International); Daniel James (Plateau United); Kalu Orji Okagbue (Rangers International); Ikouwem Udoh (Enyimba FC); Abdullahi Musa (Wikki Tourists); Timothy Danladi (Katsina United); Ifeanyi Nweke (Kano Pillars); Stephen Eze (Kano Pillars)
Midfielders: Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Augustine Oladapo (Enyimba FC); Ekundayo Ojo (Sunshine Stars); Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United)
Forwards: Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars); Eneji Moses (Plateau United); Ibrahim Mustapha (Enyimba FC); Emeka Ogbuh (Rivers United); Sunday Faleye (Akwa United); Nura Mohammed (El-Kanemi Warriors); Okechukwu Gabriel (Akwa United)