Salisu Yusuf has been confirmed as the assistant to Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi. The confirmation was contained in a statement published on the Nigeria Football Federation website just as the federation released the names of the players for the African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Chad billed for next month. Even though there were wide speculations that Yusuf had been chosen as the Eagles’ assistant coach, the NFF refused to comment on the subject until Thursday.
Yusuf is a former Kano Pillars and Enyimba coach. He replaces Daniel Amokachi, who served as Keshi’s deputy during his first tenure with the Eagles which last from November 2011 to July 2014.
Yusuf who won the domestic league with Pillars, also played for Ranchers Bees and El Kanemi. Ike Shorunmu was luckier than Amokachi as he retained his place as the goalkeeper trainer while the backroom staff that was constituted during the last international friendly against South Africa in Nelspruit in March, has been adopted for the Chad game.
Also on Thursday the NFF released a list of 26 home-based players Keshi has picked for camping ahead of the match against Chad. The game has been fixed for the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on June 13.
Some of the familiar faces on the list are Daniel Akpeyi, Solomon Kwambe, Mfon Udoh, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Rabiu Ali, Kunle Odunlami, Gbolahan Salami and Ezekiel Mba.
The first time invitees include Enyimba FC captain Chinedu Udoji, Giwa FC’s Henlong Charles, Joe Omale of Dekina Dragons and FC Taraba’s Samuel Olabisi.
All the invited players are expected to report in Abuja on May 19.
Keshi will be looking to make a good first impression with the match after Nigeria’s dismal outing during the qualifiers for the 2015 AFCON which was held in Equatorial Guinea.
The full list
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Chidiebere Eze (Gabros International)
Defenders: Solomon Kwambe (Warri Wolves); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Gabros International); Idris Aloma (Enyimba FC); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Nelson Ogbonnaya (Heartland FC); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Chinedu Udoji (Enyimba FC); Samuel Olabisi (FC Taraba); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars)
Midfielders: Nathaniel Joseph (Sharks FC); Michael Egbeta (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Igbinosa Esosa (Nasarawa United); Moses Ekpai Ubong (Kano Pillars); Henlong Charles (Giwa FC)
Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Ibrahim Shaibu (Giwa FC); Joe Omale (Dekina Dragons); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves); Ezekiel Mbah (Kano Pillars); Onoriode Odah (Enugu Rangers); Azeez Shobowale (Kano Pillars).