U-23 AFCON: Amapakabo Selects Team For Title Defence

 

National U-23 Head Coach, Imama Amapakabo has named team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, defenders Anthony Izuchukwu, Sincere Seth and Olisah Ndah, midfielders Kelechi Nwakali, Muyiwa Olabiran and Ndifreke Effiong, and forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Orji Okwonkwo in his final list of 21 players to defend the U23 Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt next month.

Nigeria, champions of the second edition of the competition in Senegal four years ago, will seek to retain their title when the third edition of the championship kicks off in Cairo on 8th November.

The Olympic Eagles will play in Group B and will contend with Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa at the Al Salam Stadium.

Hosts Egypt leads Group A that also has Ghana, Cameroon and Mali with matches to hold at the Cairo International Stadium.

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Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 9th November.

The top three teams at the eight-nation finals will qualify to represent Africa in the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Amapakabo also picked goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar, defender Josiah Chukwudi, and lively attacking midfielders Ndifreke Effiong, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Sunusi Ibrahim.

21 OLYMPIC EAGLES FOR U23 AFCON TITLE DEFENCE IN EGYPT

Goalkeepers: Adamu Abubakar (Wikki Tourists); Mohammed Galadima (Nasarawa United); Kingdom Osayi (Giant Brillers)

Defenders: Olisah Ndah (Remo Stars); Samuel Atavti (Esperance FC, Tunisia); Valentine Ozornwafor (UD Almeria, Spain); Sincere Seth (Boluspor FC, Turkey); Josiah Chukwudi (Spartak Tranava, Slovakia); Anthony Izuchukwu (Nest Sotra, Norway); Bitok Stephen (FC Isloch, Belarus)

Midfielders: Sunusi Ibrahim (Nasarawa United); Aliyu Yau Adam (Spartak Jurmala, Latvia); Muyiwa Olabiran (Tambov FC, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Huesca, Spain); Ndifreke Effiong (Akwa United); Sunday Faleye (Wacker FC, Austria); Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford FC, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Basaksehir FC, Turkey)

Forwards: Orji Okwonkwo (Bologna FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Bright Enobakhare (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)

El-Kanemi Warriors Appoint Amapakabo As New Coach

Imama Amapakabo

Nigeria Professional Football League club, El-Kanemi Warriors has appointed former Enugu Rangers Manager Imama Amapakabo as their new coach.

Coach Amapakabo who will be unveiled on Tuesday in Maiduguri sealed a one-year contract with the club on Sunday.

The “Eli Warriors” finished in sixth place in the NPFL final league table standing last season.

Amapakabo was in charge of Rangers when they won the NPFL title in 2016, ending their over 30-year wait for the title.

Amapakabo Wants Rangers To Hold On To Celebration

Federation Cup, enugu rangers, Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, NPFLEnugu Rangers head coach, Imama Amapakabo, wants his team to hold to their celebrations despite being just a point away from becoming champions in the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

The Flying Antelopes recorded an impressive 2-1 win over relegated, Ikorodu United on Sunday in Abeokuta to boost the chances of winning their seventh top-flight title.

Amapakabo told Channels Television that although the side are close to winning the title they still have to win the last day match against El Kanemi Warriors to be properly crowned the undisputed champions.

Enugu Rangers are top on the league table with  60 points; three ahead of closest challengers, Rivers United with a game to play.

Remo Stars Promoted

Meanwhile, coach of Remo Stars, Nduka Ugbade says his side are not carried away after gaining promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League next season.

Coach Ugbade told Channels Television that the team would rather concentrate on their last league game against UNICEM Rovers at home.

No matter the outcome of the game, Remo Stars are heading to the NPFL for the first time, having recorded an unassailable 28 points in their Division B1 of the NNL.

But Ugbade says they plan to finish a successful campaign on a high in front of their fans in Ijebu-Ode to justify the investment of club owner, Kunle Soname.

NFF Names Paul Le Guen As New Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser

Paul Le Guen, NFF, Super Eagles, Technical AdviserThe Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday named Frenchman Paul Le Guen, as the new Technical Adviser of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles.

He will be assisted by Nigerian Salisu Yusuf, who takes the role of Chief Coach.

The appointments are subject to agreement of contract terms with the NFF Executive Committee.

Spokesman of the Committee, Paul Bassey, told thenff.com after the meeting at the NFF secretariat on Monday that Enugu Rangers gaffer Imama Amapakabo and former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Alloy Agu, who served as assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for the games against Mali and Luxembourg in May, retain their places in the technical crew.

The new crew’s immediate challenge is a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in the first week of September – a dead rubber, but which would serve as ample preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Zambia on October 3.

The 52-year-old new Eagles’ boss steered the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

He played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain and won 17 caps for France, before coaching Rennes, Lyon, PSG (in France) and Glasgow Rangers (in Scotland). He also coached Oman.

Yusuf, capped at U20 level by Nigeria, called the shots in interim capacity for two international friendly matches in Europe at the end of May, which the Eagles won.

The Committee has also recommended to the NFF Board, the appointment of one–time Super Eagles’ assistant coach Bitrus Bewarang as the new NFF Technical Director. Bewarang, who is president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association, will replace the late Coach Shaibu Amodu.

There is also a recommendation that former Super Eagles’ defender Nduka Ugbade be restored to the U17 National Team as assistant to Coach Manu Garba.

Rangers, MFM FC React To NPFL Clash Outcome

Rangers - MFM - NPFLEnugu Rangers Coach, Imama Amapakabo, says he is happy to pick a point in the NPFL against the newly promoted MFM FC.

Amapakabo admitted that the hosts were no underdogs in the top flight division, hence his team came well prepared.

In his reaction, MFM FC Head Coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, saiud he was not impressed with the 1-1 draw against visiting Enugu Ranger.

Ilechukwu wants the team to remain focus ahead of their next league game when they visit Warri Wolves in Delta State.

Rangers took the lead through Obinna Nwobodo nine minutes before the break, as Sunday Odey got the equaliser in the 68th minute to hand MFM 16 points from 10 league games.

With the draw, Enugu Rangers dropped to second on the league table with 18 points from 10 league games while MFM FC slipped to 6th spot in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).