*JONAH USMAN – DOB: 10/10/1993 80kg 1.84m ABS FC
He was first choice at the recent African Youth Championship in Algeria, featuring in all five matches for his team. This is his second season in the Nigerian top flight with ABS FC of Ilorin. He is tall and a good shot stopper. He is a product of the Kwara Football Academy.
*SAMUEL OKANI – DOB: 11/02/1994 69kg 1.73m ENYIMBA
Safe goalkeeper who makes up for his lack of inches with his agility. He suffered a hand injury leading up to the AYC in Algeria after he was top choice during the qualifying series. He has since bounced back and will now battle for the No.1 shirt with the bigger Jonah Usman.
*JOHN FELEGHA – DOB: 27/07/1994 78kg 1.78m EUPEN (BELGIUM)
He was third choice at the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa. He was at the famous Aspire Football Academy in Qatar and now features for Eupen in the Belgian second division. He is a confident player.
*ONYINYE NDIDI – DOB: 16/12/1996 71kg 1.83m NATH BOYS
The squad’s youngest player. He is a highly promising central defender who has featured for the country’s U17 team, the Golden Eaglets. He is one of a handful of players who broke into the squad after the AYC in Algeria. He is strong and fearless. He will act as cover for the established Chizoba Amaefule and Ikechukwu Okorie. He will only be 18 next year December and features for Nath Boys FC in the Lagos Junior League.
*IKECHUKWU OKORIE – DOB: 18/11/1993 73kg 1.79m ENYIMBA
No-nonsense central defender, who has returned to Enyimba after a superb spell on loan to Kaduna United. He is solid, good in the air and also a good man marker.
*CHIZOBA AMAEFULE – DOB: 28/10/1994 72kg 1.84m DOLPHINS
He has formed a great central defence partnership with Okorie since he broke into the first team after an invitational tournament in Cape Town, South Africa, last year. He is great aerially and a defender who continues to grow in confidence and stature.
*SHEHU ABDULLAHI – DOB: 12/03/1993 68kg 1.80m KANO PILLARS
Versatile player who could play as a defensive, offensive midfielder as well as at right back. He features for champions Kano Pillars. Last season was his first in the top flight and he played over 28 games for the Kano club. He has made the right back position his own in the Nigeria U20 team.
*KINGSLEY MADU – DOB: 12/12/1995 76kg 1.76m EL-KANEMI
An exciting addition to the team who has gone on to make the first team at left back. He is great at defending and carries a big threat when he joins the attack with his powerful canons and free kicks.
*MICHAEL OLAITAN – DOB: 01/01/1993 72.5kg 1.75m OLYMPIACOS (GREECE)
One of the additions to the squad after the AYC and has a good profile in the Greek top league. He only recently signed for Greek champions Olympiacos. He is an attacking midfielder who packs a good shot. He is seen as a cover for skipper Abduljaleel Ajagun in central midfield.
*OVBOKHA AGBOYI – DOB: 14/12/1994 73kg 1.79m BAYELSA UNITED
His displays for the Flying Eagles have earned him a move from FC Abuja in the lower Professional League to Bayelsa United in the top flight. A defensive midfielder who is good in the air and a great man marker armed with a powerful shot. He has been a calming influence on the back four.
*ABDULJALEEL AJAGUN – DOB: 10/02/1993 62kg 1.68m DOLPHINS
Could play as central midfielder or as a left wing player. He is a skilful and intelligent player and is one of the biggest discoveries of coach John Obuh having first represented Nigeria at the U17 World Cup in 2009. He scored four goals in the qualifying tournament. He also scored three at the AYC in Algeria all from the penalty spot and was named in the tournament XI by CAF. The Dolphin star has now been named the team’s skipper. He was very much a part of the team who won the 2011 AYC hosted by South Africa and he is now the undoubted star of the current team.
*MOSES ORKUMA – DOB: 19/07/1994 66kg 1.70m LOBI STARS
This battling midfielder played a big part as his club Lobi Stars reached the final of the 2012 Nigeria FA Cup as well as finish third in the Nigeria Premier League. He was part of the squad to the Cape Town invitational tournament, but he did not get to play. He featured at the AYC in Algeria.
*UCHE AGBO – DOB: 04/12/1995 70kg 1.85m ENYIMBA
Tall, talented midfielder from Enyimba who posted a great AYC in Algeria after playing mostly as a substitute in the qualifiers for Algeria 2013. He could also play on the right side of attack. He is intelligent and good aerially.
*ALHAJI GERO – DOB: 10/10/1993 83kg 1.86m ENUGU RANGERS
The team’s joint leading scorer with four goals in the qualifiers to the African Youth Championship. He failed to score at the AYC, where he was mostly played as a substitute, but he scored two goals at the recent Toulon International Tournament in France including an inspired strike against world champions Brazil. He is big, strong and a very focused youngster who moved to Enugu Rangers during the last league season. He boasts raw power and determination. He has interested several European clubs.
*CHIDI OSUCHUKWU – DOB: 11/10/1993 72kg 1.78m DOLPHINS
Left-sided forward who missed out on last year’s World Cup even after starring at the 2011 AYC. He has a sweet left foot and features for 2011 champions Dolphins. He has a good shot and is also armed with a great foot work and a few ball tricks. He recently agreed a contract with Portuguese club Sporting Braga.
*UMAR AMINU – DOB: 06/03/1995 70kg 1.72m WIKKI TOURISTS
He was the top scorer at the 2013 AYC in Algeria with four goals after he was moved to the top of the attack from the right wing. He was picked in the tournament XI. He loves to take on his markers with his great dribbling skills and when he is on top of his game, he is unstoppable.
*OLANREWAJU KAYODE – DOB: 08/05/1993 67kg 1.74m HEARTLAND FC
He scored three goals as Nigeria reached the last eight of the 2011 World Cup in Colombia. He featured at the 2013 AYC in Algeria as well as at the 2011 AYC in South Africa. He may not be prolific goal scorer, but there is no denying the fact he has a big engine, which allows him to cover every blade of grass on the pitch. His experience and endeavour will be crucial in a young strike force.
*CHRISTIAN PYAGBARA – DOB: 13/03/1996 70kg 1.76m SHARKS
Exciting attacking prospect who plays on the right side of attack, but he could also play a more central role upfront. He has yet to make his Nigeria Premier League debut and is in Turkey mainly to learn.
*EDAFE EGBEDI – DOB: 05/08/1993 62kg 1.62m AGF AARHUS (DENMARK)
Talented winger, who is now based in Denmark with first division AGF Aarhus after a great run at the 2011 World Cup in Colombia. He was at the AYC in Algeria, but a thigh injury kept him out of the final rounds of matches.
*SAMUEL EDUOK – DOB: 31/01/1994 76kg 1.7m DOLPHINS
Strong and forceful left-sided player who could play as a left back or left winger. He was not at the African Youth Championship in Algeria, but showed glimpses of what he could do at the recent Toulon International Tournament in France.
*DADDY MOSES – DOB: 12/07/1995 65kg 1.7m AMINCHI ACADEMY
Speedy right winger who is highly thought of. He trained with Kaduna United in the Nigerian top flight league but has returned to Aminchi Academy in Bukuru, Jos, which produced Nigeria international winger Ahmed Musa. He is on the fringes of the main team.
(29/05/2013, Toulon International) VS MEXICO 0-2
(02/06/2013, Toulon International) VS BELGIUM 1-1
(04/06/2013, Toulon International) VS BRAZIL 1-1
(06/06/2013, Toulon International) VS PORTUGAL 1-2
(15/06/2013, Friendly in Grassau, Germany) VS Spvgg Unterhaching 3-0
STATS VS UNTERHACHING
GOAL SCORERS: Umar Aminu 55, 58 Daddy Moses 83
Samuel Okani (John Felagha 61) – Shehu Abdullahi, Kingsley Madu (Samuel Eduok 46), Chizoba Amaefule, Ikechukwu Okorie (Wilfred Ndidi 76) – Moses Orkuma (Ovbokha Agboyi 46), Michael Olaitan (Uche Agbo 59), Abduljaleel Ajagun (Christian Pyagbara 61) – Chidi Osuchukwu (Edafe Egbedi 46), Alhaji Gero (Olanrewaju Kayode 46), Umar Aminu (Daddy Moses 76)
LIST OF OFFICIALS
*CHIEF COACH – JOHN OBUH
*ASSISTANT COACH – JURGEN PRESS
*ASSISTANT COACH – YAKUBU MAIDAJIN
*GOALKEEPER TRAINER – ALLOY AGU
*TEAM SECRETARY – ALIYU IBRAHIM
*TEAM DOCTOR – ABDULRAHIM OZI SALAMI
*PHYSIOTHERAPIST – NNAEMEKA ANOZIE
*MEDIA OFFICER – SAMM AUDU
*CO-ORDINATOR – ABDULRAHMAN BABA UMAR
*KIT MANAGER – USMAN CHATA
– Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers), News Bytes Sports Desk
Leave your comment here