Keshi names squad for Amavubi qualifier

SUPER Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has named a 30-man provisional squad for Nigeria’s 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda. Amavubi host the Super Eagles on February 29 before heading to Abuja on the weekend of June 15-17 for the return leg.
Meddi Kagere (left) celebrating his first goal with team mate Olivier Karekezi. The two strikers finished  as joint tournament top scorers. The New Times/ Bonnie Mugabe
Meddi Kagere (left) celebrating his first goal with team mate Olivier Karekezi. The two strikers finished as joint tournament top scorers. The New Times/ Bonnie Mugabe

SUPER Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has named a 30-man provisional squad for Nigeria’s 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda.

Amavubi host the Super Eagles on February 29 before heading to Abuja on the weekend of June 15-17 for the return leg.

After failing to qualify for the forthcoming 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Keshi believes early preparations are vital if Nigeria is to qualify for the 2013 edition in South Africa.

 “Yes, I will be meeting with the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation) over the camping programme,” Keshi was quoted as saying.

The team is dominated by locally based players and Keshi is confident they can do the job as he seeks to hoist Nigeria’s flag in South Africa and Brazil (2014 Fifa World Cup).

“I will give (domestically based players) an opportunity to prove themselves in the national team. They will be in camp for about three weeks after which I will decide who gets to play alongside the professionals.”

“If they are good, they will play; if they are not, they will have to go home,” Keshi stressed.

Keshi has two matches under his belt since assuming the mantle from Samson Siasia last month; a goalless draw against Botswana and a 2-0 victory over Zambia.

In the 2006 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, Amavubi held the Super Eagles to a 1-all draw in Kigali, a result which proved detrimental to Nigeria’s qualification. Obafemi Martins equalized for the Super Eagles after Jimmy Gatete had given Amavubi the lead through a fantastic individual goal.

The preliminary phase of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers will start with countries which failed to qualify for 2012 edition.

bonnie.mugabe@newtimes.co.rw

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