Nigeria’s Super Eagles Friday afternoon in Faro, Portugal continued its final phase of preparation for the African Cup of Nations after two weeks of rigorous training in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi led 12 players, his four assistants and backroom staff to the Faro camp after flying to Portugal from Accra, Ghana on Thursday night. The team left Abuja for Accra at about 5:30pm Nigerian time after initial delay of the flight that was scheduled to leave earlier.
The TAP Portugal flight that was to take the team from Accra to Lisbon in Portugal was also delayed but finally took off at about 12 am Nigerian time after a one hour delay. At exactly 5:25am Nigerian time, the plane touched down at the Lisbon International Airport. Nigeria is one hour ahead of Portugal in time zones.
After immigration formalities, two buses were waiting to convey the team to Faro, Portugal where the team will stay till January 16, when it will relocate to Nelspruit in South Africa, where it will stay for the AFCON championship.
The smooth bus ride took exactly three hours, which meant the players and officials had breakfast in Faro at the serene Browns Sports and Leisure Club, in Vilamoura area of Faro.
Weather in Faro is fair, as it has been hovering between 13-16 degrees Celsius, which will be similar to what the players will experience when hostilities start at SA 2013.
Players were immediately attended to in terms of accommodation and training effectively took off at 4:30 local time, which is 5:30, Nigeria time.
The 12 players currently in camp in Faro are Goalkeepers Chigozie Agbim and Dan Akpeyi. Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Solomon Kwambe, Papa Idris, Henry Uche, Sunday Mba, Gabriel Reuben, Ejike Uzoenyi, Benjamin Francis and Norway-based Fegor Ogude.
Most of the foreign-based players are expected to start trickling into camp from Saturday, December 29.