Awoniyi, Yahaya Leads Flying Eagles Team To Morocco

Taiwo Awoniyi
Taiwo Awoniyi was one of the outstanding players at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE, won by Nigeria.

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 squad going to Morocco:

Goalkeepers: Emeka Nwabulu, Adamu Abubakar, Abdulazeez Abubakar

Defenders: Aliyu Abubakar, Ifeanyi Nweke, Mustapha Abdullahi, Wilfred Ndidi, Prince Izu Omego and Zaharaddeen Bello

Midfielders: Musa Yahaya, Ifeanyi Matthew, Abdullahi Alfa, Akinjide Idowu, Samuel Mathias, Anthony Omaka and Bernard Bulbwa

Strikers: Taiwo Awoniyi, Alhassan Ibrahim, Suleiman Abdullahi and Abubakar Lawal

Obuh Places ‘No Preferential Treatment’ Tag On Foreign Players

Ahead of the African Youth Championship taking place this year, Nigeria’s U-20 head coach; John Obuh has decided not to hang his hopes on foreign based players, thereby leaving open chances of invitation for all players in his programme for the AYC which will be taking place in Algeria.

Coach Obuh further said that his reliance on some of the professional players was cut short due to experience because they would mess your programme up by not showing up when the game plan rests solely on them (professional players).

Obuh admitted that he had to take caution, talking of national call-up for Nigerian Players abroad as their availability can sometimes be shaky, the former Golden Eaglets coach to the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup said.

“I won’t depend on foreign-based players for my programme at this year’s AYC,”. “I won’t hand invitation to players who cannot guaranteed their availability for the championship. I will not want a repeat of Ahmed Musa’s saga where the player had to shuttle between his club’s engagement and playing for the country at the last AYC in South Africa,”.

“My plan is to invite professional players to my team especially those who can deny themselves and sponsor themselves to play for the country. These players must however guarantee their availability.

“I won’t like a situation where a player will be coming to the camp few days to the championship to pick shirt in my team. This cannot help the programme of a good coach. I prefer working with the home-based players for the AYC.”

Nigeria will be clashing with Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon in Group B of the AYC 2013.