Despite the looming FIFA ban on Nigeria , 17 players reported to the Super Eagles camp in Calabar on Tuesday as preparation for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Congo and South Africa begins.
The team first training session was supervised by interim coach, Stephen Keshi.
The team had a light work out at the University of Calabar football pitch overseen by the technical crew including assistant coaches Daniel Amokachi and Valere Houandinou as well as goalkeeper coach Ike Shorunmu.
Pending the finalisation of his new contract, Keshi agreed to take charge of the team for the matches against Congo and South Africa as the Eagles hope to defend the title it won in Johannesburg in February 2013.
However, more players were expected before training in the evening after only nine players trained in the morning training session.
Mikel Obi leads the pack of foreign based players that have reported with Ahmed Musa, Ogenyi Onazi, Efe Ambrose, Kenneth Omeruo, Juwon Oshaniwa, Sone Aluko, and stand-in captain Austin Ejide arrive on time to have lunch with the rest of the team.
Mikel’s entrance was particularly hilarious as he came in with hand gloves and asked Coach Keshi if he will need some with the fear of the Ebola disease in mind.
“Coach I have up to four hand gloves and if you don’t mind, I can hand one pair to you,” he said jokingly with the rest of the team reeling with laughter.
Keshi announced that he has decided to replace Vincent Enyeama, who is absent for personal reasons with Elkanemi of Maiduguri first choice keeper, David Obiazor.
“We have been monitoring the Nigerian league and we see that the keeper of Elkanemi is a talent that is why we want to give him a trial. We will see how it turns out when he arrive camp,” Keshi said.
Nnamdi Oduamadi and Emmanuel Emenike joined the team on Tuesday evening. He breezed in while the team was training at the UJ Esuene Stadium.
Elkanemi goalie, David Obiazor is expected on Wednesday in Calabar. In fact, Wednesday’s evening training session is expected to be a full house.