The duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidiebere Nwakali might not be in the Flying Eagles squad for the 2015 African Youth Championship holding in Senegal in March.
The English Premier League champions, Manchester City made this known on Tuesday.
The Scouting and Recruitment Operations Manager at Manchester City FC, Fergal Harkin, in a mail to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, stated that the club would not be willing to release the players for different reasons.
Harkin stated that Iheanacho was injured while a loan move was being processed for Nwakali.
Part of the mail read, “With regards Kelechi Iheanacho, he is currently injured. We believe he will be fit around the middle of March but can keep in contract regarding his recovery.
“For Chidiebere Nwakali, we are currently in the process of agreeing his loan deal to Europe and he will not be available to meet up with the national team until further notice.
“At this moment in time, we feel it is best for his development that he cements his place in the club side.”
Kelechi Iheanacho won the Golden Ball at the 2013 U-17 World Cup and was one of the revelations of Manchester City’s summer pre-season after impressing and scoring against AC Milan.
The attacking midfielder has already been tipped as a future Super Eagles star despite his young age.
All overseas based players invited for the AYC tournament had been given till Thursday, January 15 to report at the U20s training camp in Kaduna.
Flying Eagles coach, Manu Garba, has released a 20-man squad for the two tune-up matches in Morocco this weekend.
As part of preparations for the 2015 African Youth Championship qualifiers next month, the U-20 team will play two friendlies against their Moroccan counterparts on Wednesday, April 9, and another game two days later.
Two influential players at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE, Taiwo Awoniyi and Musa Yahaya will lead the team to the East African country, as Nigeria consolidate plans towards qualifying for the African Youth Championship that will take place in Senegal next year.
Nigeria face the winners of the match between Kenya and Tanzania, while Morocco take on the winners of the clash between Togo and Equatorial Guinea.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have picked Flying Eagles striker Umar Aminu who was a top scorer at the just concluded 2013 African Youth Championship for the AYC best XI after they admitted a mistake for overlooking the tournament top scorer.
CAF Technical Director; Abdel Moniem Hussein said the tournament XI was picked before the final round of matches but with Aminu finishing as top scorer, he has to be included in the team.
The Wikki Tourists striker ended the tournament with four goals to succeed compatriot Uche Nwofor, who was the goal king at the 2011 edition of the tournament in South Africa.
Following his exploits in Algeria, the 18 year old striker has attracted overseas interest with the most recent one from Club Africain of Tunisia as well as a host of Turkish clubs.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it would not take any hasty decision on the fate of flying eagles chief coach, John Obuh after the team failed to defend the African Youth Championship title in Algeria.
NFF’s spokesman Demola Olajire said the former Sharks of Port Harcourt handler would be giving another chance to tinker the team ahead of the FIFA U-20 world cup in turkey.
Olajire said the Flying Eagles which finished in third position at the biennial youth showpiece will be overhauled before the world cup in June.
Reports say standard liege striker Imoh Ezekiel will be invited to beef up the team’s attack. The Flying Eagles are expected to participate at the Toulon football tournament at the end of May.
Putting behind them the unexpected defeat by the Junior Pharaohs of Egypt, the coach of Nigeria’s U-20 team John Obuh has promised that he will put everything into machination in the third place match against Mali.
Obuh said the Flying Eagles cannot afford to concede defeat in to straight games in a tournament especially today’s match which will be deciding who takes home the Bronze medal on the African Youth Championship.
The Flying Eagles will be clashing with their first rival and the first team in the tournament to smear their title defence in the AYC, Mali for the third place match as pundits keep hoping that today’s game between the two teams will be in a different form with a possibility of the Flying Eagles to run away with a victory which is what coach Obuh is gunning for.
Obuh said he sees today’s clash with Mali as another opportunity for the players to show what they are made of and prove to the Malians that the initial clash was an error.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria today fell to the Junior Pharaohs of Egypt in a semi-final clash by a 2-0 margin, dashing the hope of the Eaglets’ title defence in the on-going African Youth Championship.
The Junior Pharaohs of Egypt proved to be the more organised side as forward man, Mahmoud Abdel-Moneam Kahrab, a who plays for ENPPI strategically sliced the Flying Eagles by scoring both goals which earned Egypt a place in the finals and the Flying Eagles playing for the third place on Friday.
The Flying Eagles did not go down without fighting as they took control of the game from the beginning of the whistle with dazzling moves.
Abduljeleel Ajagun got close to making something out of the buzz but for Mossad Awad’s quick response.
The game changer came for Egypt from the second half as the pressure mounted on the defending champions paid off as Omar Bassam’s free kick into the path of Egypt forward man Kahraba could not be obstructed and it made straight for the net with Nigeria not able to deflect the ball.
After the first goal for Egypt, pressure was again piled against the Flying Eagles as chances after chances were missed by the Junior Pharaohs of Egypt even though the Flying Eagles came close to equalising in the 52nd minute with an effort from Olarenwaju Kayode after he successfully displaced the man on him. However, Egypt would be grateful to Awad who was again on the ground to knock off the goal-bound effort.
The effort against the Flying Eagles yielded result, however, in the dying minute as an unmarked Kahraba was left alone again to further worsen the woes of the Flying Eagles during a set-pieces and Kahraba finished with an header past Nigeria’s goalkeeper 9 minutes to end of the game.
A lost opportunity for the Flying Eagles to record an amazing comeback into the game was not put to use by substitute Bright Ejike 6 minutes to the end of the game as he failed to convert an open chance after he shrugged off Awad from his track but was stopped by the Egyptian goalkeeper. It was the same Awad who stopped Ejike’s second opportunity at goal after he fired a low-powered shot at the Egyptian goal area.
In their last preparation match ahead of their African Youth Championship (AYC) quest in Algeria, Nigeria’s U-20 Flying Eagles drew 2-2 yesterday with Club Africain in Tunis.
Billed to leave for Algeria after the game against Club Africain, the injection of Olanrewaju Kayode gave the squad the first goal after 34 minutes from inside the six-yard box after a fantastic play and Club Africain replied with an equaliser a minute later.
Aliyu Goyi a left back player almost put the Flying Eagles ahead again in the 52nd minute with his stunning move, but his low shot was close to target.
Club Africain however took the lead after Goyi’s narrow miss with a penalty kick which the Flying Eagles conceded after a foul inside the box.
The first team side of the Club Africain as opposed to Nigeria’s U-20 side bowed to pressure from the junior boys in the 70th minute after Kayode’s superb chance could not be knocked off by Afrcain’s goalkeeper as he rounded him up and claimed the goal for Flying Eagles.
Flying Eagles proved a better side but couldn’t go further by showing it on the score sheet as they were denied several scintillating chances.
The Flying Eagles will fly out to Algiers on Wednesday afternoon, while their opening Group B match will be on Sunday, March 17 against Mali.
Coach John Obuh; the head coach of Nigeria’s African Youth Championship squad for the 2013 edition has opened up concerning how the team will fare saying is confident of qualifying for the World Cup by scaling the group stage of the 2013 African Youth Championship in Algeria which will kick-off holds from March 16-30 in Rabat and Casablanca.
As it stands Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will be facing Mali, Gabon and DR Congo in the tournament and the coach sounded positive that Nigeria will have a wonderful outing due to his side’s quality because of the composition of his team.
“All the teams that will be coming for the tournament are good because all of us have to scale past some countries before reaching this stage.
“Every country has equal opportunity to win the competition but we have a quality team that should be able to hold their own against all other teams.
Some of my players are familiar with the tournament and I know this will give us some edge.
Solly Luvhengo has begun mind games ahead of the final clash between Nigeria’s Flying Eagles and the Amajita of South Africa which will take place in Ilorin, Nigeria on October the 7th.
The South African coach told Coach John Obuh the Flying Eagles to roll out his war drums as the final showdown should be prepared for seriously in the second leg qualifier of the African Youth Championships.
Luvhengo conceded that the Flying Eagles squad has lots of good players which has made up for a good team but South Africa will still fight to get by in the return leg in Nigeria even though it will be very difficult.
We just need to score in Nigeria and the pressure will be back on Nigeria. That is our target,” he concluded.
Obuh admitted that the match will not be an easy one, but said that his team was equal to the task.
“It won’t be an easy game in Ilorin (Nigeria) against a good and fast South African team, but we will qualify.
“These days, there isn’t such a thing as home advantage because a good team can play anywhere and win. Football has changed and so we can’t relax to ensure we finish off the job in Ilorin,” he said.
Coach Obuh expressed his desire to defend the title he won 2011 in South Africa. A win for him will see him land in the eight-nation AYC in Algeria in March.
Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets has qualified for the next round of the U-17 African championship after beating Niger team the Junior Mena on a 10-1 aggregate in second leg which saw the Eaglets wallop the Nigeriens 6-0 on Saturday.
Nduka Ugbade, the Assistant coach of the Under 17 team could not hide his happiness on the performance of his team.
Ifeanyi Matthew, Izu Omego, Musa Mohammed, Musa Yahaya scored a goal each as Isaac Success terrorised Niger’s Junior Mena every time the Eaglets go forward during Saturday’s game at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
The next opponent of the Nigerian team is Guinea and the Golden Eaglets will be playing hosts to the first leg on the weekend of October 12, 13 and 14 and the return leg will hold on October 26, 27 and 28 in Conakry, Guinea.
The first leg game of the Under17 African championship qualifying was played in Niamey where Eaglets triumphed with a 4-1 score line.