Stephen Keshi, Super Eagles coach
Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, will on Thursday in Abuja unveil his hit squad for the three big games in the month of June.
Already, 24 home boys have been sweating it out in Abuja for the past two weeks, ahead of the international friendly against Peru in Lima on May 23. A list of 17 will be made out of the 24, to be joined by five foreign-based players who have been called for the purpose.
On Thursday, at the FIFA Technical Centre, National Stadium, Abuja, Keshi will name the team that will confront Namibia and Malawi in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Calabar and Blantyre respectively, as well as the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Amavubi of Rwanda in Calabar.
Nigeria take on Namibia on Sunday, June 3, fly to Blantyre to play Malawi on Saturday, June 9 and return to Calabar to play Rwanda on Sunday, June 17.
Keshi is also expected to name, on Thursday, the 17 players from the home boys who will be joined by the five foreign-based players for the trip to Lima, Peru. The NFF has concluded arrangements to fly the team to Peru aboard Iberia Airline.
The delegation will depart for Madrid from Lagos on May 19, and connect a direct flight from Madrid to Lima on May 20 – an 11-hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
The squad for the clash with Brave Warriors of Namibia is expected to arrive in Calabar on May 27 to start preparations for the big match.
Meanwhile, Keshi has expressed dismay over the reported injury to Inter Milan of Italy midfielder, Joel Obi, declaring that the player has always been in his plans in the national scheme of things.
Keshi said in Abuja at the team’s Bolton White Apartment camp that even if the player was not on his list for the upcoming qualifiers in June, he still feels a bitter sense of loss by the injury and wished the fledgling midfielder quick recovery.
“It’s sad that he’s injured, he’s a promising player but we cannot invite an injured player to camp, one thing is certain he has many years ahead of him to serve his fatherland. I wish him the quickest of recoveries,” Keshi said.
And in a related development, the national team will play a test game against Mountain of Fire And Miracles FC of Abuja on Thursday at the training pitch of the National Stadium in the Federal Capital.
The game according to Head Coach, Stephen Keshi is to test the match fitness of his players before the team jets out to Peru for an international friendly against that country's national team.
Team Coordinator, Emmanuel Atta, jokingly added, "we will also use the opportunity to ask for prayers from the leadership and players of MFM and indeed all religious groups in the country as we approach the decisive month of June."