By Lexi Elo with Agency Report
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is expected to name players from the Nigeria Professional Football League for camp that will open next week. May 18 is the tentative date for the opening of camp in Keshi’s second return to the Super Eagles, with star players like Mfon Udoh and regulars Azubuike Egwuekwe, Gbolahan Salami and Daniel Akpeyi expected to make the cut.
Keshi has spoken about rebuilding the former African champions with a base made up of lads from the domestic scene, the fulcrum of his victorious 2013 Africa Cup of Nations side.
“We have to return to basics and do the things we did that helped us win the 2013 Afcon in South Africa. I want to start from scratch to build a solid squad that will make Nigerians happy again. It is important to give players in the local league a chance to show us what they can do and that is why I am inviting 26 of them to prove themselves,” Keshi told SuperSport.com.
He also reiterated that only players who have been consistently performing well with their clubs in europe would be invited to join the team for the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.
“Only those who play regularly for their clubs will be called up and if they fail to give 120 percent while in camp, they know what will happen. There is no automatic shirt for anyone. If anyone thinks that we just need to turn up and beat Chad that person is making a big mistake. They are a good side and we have to work hard to beat them. We will approach the game with all seriousness and hopefully we will get good result,” Keshi explained.
Nigeria face Chad and Tanzania in June as they open their qualifying campaign for Gabon 2017 after failing to defend their title in Equatorial Guinea.
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