Celtic defender, Efe Ambrose
It was typical last minute rush at the Super Eagles camp site in Faro, Portugal, on Friday as four out of the remaining foreign-based professionals arrived for the final phase of preparations for the Nations Cup 2013 in South Africa later this month.
Among those who breezed into camp before lunch time on Friday were Celtic tower in defence, Efe Ambrose, FC Braga of Portugal left back, Elderson Echejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, who recently moved from Sharks of Port Harcourt of Israeli side Ashdod and Padova of Italy midfield man, Obiora Nwankwo.
All the players jointly had lunch and by the last count the camp has swollen to 25 players who will train later Friday afternoon.
All other players including John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide are expected in camp later on Saturday morning on time for the afternoon training session.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi again reiterated during lunch time that there will be no room for late comers as he has barely four days to make up his mind on the final list of 23 players that will be going to the Nations Cup.
He also revealed that up till noon on Friday he has not heard a word from Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, saying he hopes the player will grab the last opportunity that Saturday offers and come to the team’s camp in Faro: “Otherwise, we go ahead with other plans for the Nations Cup, with available players on ground”.
Meanwhile, power playing Super Eagles midfielder, Gabriel Reuben, who was left behind to recuperate from a freak sickness during last Wednesday’s Exhibition match against the Catalonia selected side is back, healthy and running again.
Reuben revealed that no sooner had the team left for Barcelona than he started feeling a lot better and wished he had been part of the game against world stars like Puyol, Xavier Hernandez and Gerald Pique.
“But I’m happy to be back and running again, but it was a little lonely but thank God all that is behind now, we should be looking at the Nations Cup proper in South Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turkey-based Uche Kalu, who has a groin strain, is still in camp with the rest of the squad but not training with them as he has been placed under close observation by the medical team.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi, said he has asked the medics to give him a final word on the player by next week before he takes a decision on the strongly built striker.
Apart from the two incidences there are no injury worries in camp but selection headache for the coaches as the likes of Sunday Mba, Benjamin Francis and Solomon Kwambe lay claim to Nations Cup shirts ahead of the release of the final list of players for the tournament.