Man City Stops Iheanacho, Nwakali From Nigeria’s AYC Squad

IheanachoThe 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.

Yahaya, Eze Promise To Meet January 15 Deadline

Musa_Yahaya1Tottenham Hotspur youngster, Musa Yahaya and FC Porto’s Chidera Eze, have promised to be with the Flying Eagles squad by the January 15 deadline given to them.

“We have been following up on the release of the foreign pros called up for the African Youth Championship and so far the signals have been very encouraging,” said team secretary Auwal Aliyu Ibrahim.

“For instance, Musa Yahaya is off to Malaysia for an invitational tournament with the Spurs youth team and he has called to say he will join us as soon as he returns.

“Chidera Eze has also assured he will come in before the January 15 deadline set by the coach for all overseas-based players to report to the training camp in Kaduna.”

Sweden-based Taiwo Awoniyi and Musa Muhammed are so far the only pros now training with the African Youth Championship-bound squad.

The other foreign pros called up include Moses Simon, Kingsley Madu, Isaac Success, Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidiebere Nwakali.

Meanwhile, the team led by coach Manu Garba will open 2015 with an endurance drill in the morning of New Year’s day.

“We will begin 2015 with hard work,” said Flying Eagles assistant coach Nduka Ugbade.

“There is still a lot of work to be done before our first match at the AYC and so we cannot afford to relax even for a day.

“All celebrations therefore have to be put on hold until we have met some of our targets.

“Our New Year’s day will be when we would have qualified for the World Cup in New Zealand.”

Iheanacho Scores As Manchester City Defeats Sporting Kansas City

IheanachoFormer Under 17 World cup star, Kelechi Iheanacho scored a goal in Manchester City’s emphatic win over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday.

Iheanacho played almost the full game as the English Premier League champions began their tour of the USA with a 4-1 victory over Sporting Kansas, scored a late goal with an accomplished finish.

The 17 year old, who scored six goals in seven matches for the Manu Garba tutored Golden Eaglets side at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year, winning the Silver Boot as the second highest goalscorer and the Golden Ball as the best player, produced an eye-catching performance, earning praises from coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Pellegrini also hinted that Iheanacho has a bright future at the club and will be important in future.

“Kelechi is just 17 years old and he’s a very important player for us in the future. He demonstrated today what he can do in the future.

“It depends on the way he takes this profession, but I think he’s a good talent. He’s a very important player for the future for the club”, he said.

Iheanacho joined the squad on the trip to Scotland, alongside compatriot Chidiebere Nwakali, for games against Dundee and Hearts and was then invited into Manuel Pellegrini’s 23-man squad for the tour of the United States.

Other scorers for the EPL winners were Bruno Zuculini , Dedryck Boyata and Aleksandar Kolarov with CJ Sapong getting a consolation for Sporting Kansas City.

In the mean time, it is believed that he will be loaned out to a club outside England despite his impressive performance so far in the pre – season  as Manchester City are working really hard to secure a work permit for him which might take a while as he has not had a game for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Iheanacho, Success in Flying Eagles 35-Man Provisional Squad

U-17-World-Cup-Eagles-WinMost valuable player at the 2013 Fifa U-17 World Cup, Kelechi Iheanacho and Golden Eaglets playmaker, Isaac Success, have been named in a 35-man provisional squad expected to resume camping ahead of a 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier.

Other players including Musa Muhammed (Besiktas,Turkey), Chidiebere Nwakali (Manchester City, England), Chidera Eze (FC Porto, Portugal), Musa Yahaya (Celta Vigo, Spain) and Sunday Alampasu, who is undergoing trials in Belgium, are also part of the team.

The squad is made up of the bulk of the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup-winning squad. 

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Sunday Alampasu, Adamu Abubakar, Abdulazeez Abubakar, Zaharadden Mohammed

Defenders: Samuel Okon, Aliyu Abubakar, Wilfred Ndidi, Prince Izu Omego, Timothy Danladi,Ifeanyi Nweke, Mazadu Sirajo, Mustapha Abdullahi, Musa Muhammed, Zaharaddeen Bello

Midfielders: Abdullahi Alfa, Akinjide Idowu,Ifeanyi Matthew, Mathias Samuel, Fedelix Irene, Uche Okeke, Chidiebere Nwakali

Strikers: Taiwo Awoniyi, Alhassan Ibrahim, Bernard Bulbwa,Suleiman Abdullahi, Billy Auta, Abubakar Lawal, Wasiu Jimoh, Anthony Omaka,Umar Ahmed, Kelechi Iheanacho, Isaac Success, Musa Yahaya, Chidera Eze, Victory Omodiagbe       

Okorocha Rewards Four Imo-Born Eaglets With Cash And Property

The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has showered the sum of N1 million each to four players of the Golden Eaglets’ team and the sum of N2 million to the assistant coach who are indigenes of Imo state.

While receiving four of the players Kelechi Iheanacho, Chidiebere Nwakali, Chidera Ezeh and Uzoha Odinaka alongside the team’s Assistant Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke at the Government House in Owerri the Imo state capital, the governor congratulated the players for making the state and the entire continent proud in the just concluded U-17 World Cup competition in Dubai.

He said it is a great honour for the state under his administration, that out of the 26 goals scored by Nigeria at the competition, 9 goals were scored by indigenes of the state.

The governor said apart from the cash gift to the players and their coach, the state government is also giving them a piece of land each in choice areas within the capital city and also take up the responsibility of their education up to tertiary level.

One of the players, Kelechi Iheanacho, won the most valuable player at the tournament, expressed joy over his success and shared his experience at the competition.

The players and coach, who arrived from Abuja through the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, alongside the deputy governor of the state, Eze Madumere were driven in a motorcade round the city before moving to the Government House to meet the governor.

I Didn’t Place 1 Million Euro Price Tag

Meanwhile, the father of Kelechi Iheanacho, Mr. James Iheanacho has debunked allegations that he has slammed a one million euro price tag on his son, describing the rumour as “untrue and all lies perpetrated from the camp of his enemies”.

Speaking to our Imo state correspondent from his home in Owerri, Iheanacho Snr. said he was “shocked and surprised” to read on the pages of the dailies that he has placed a huge sum on his son adding that there was never a time he “discussed such issue with any agent or person” as regards placing such amount on his son.

He said it is obvious that such evil lie is coming from the camp of his enemies who are not happy with the present success of his son and are out to tarnish the image of his family.