NPL Eagles to fight for Afcon slots
Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi has allayed fear that players from his country's Premier League will not be considered for the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.
Keshi told supersport.com that players in the NPL will get the chance to fight for places for the Africa Cup of Nations squad in spite of the league season being in recess.
"I don't think it will be fair to say that the players based at home will not get the chance to fight for places in the team for the Nations Cup in South Africa. A number of the players at home are key players in the team and played very important roles in helping us qualify for the Nations Cup.
"No need to mention any name (of the NPL players) but you know some of them I've called up into the team and those who have impressed since I took charge as head coach," said Keshi to supersport.com.
The former Mali and Togo coach also reminded that Nigeria's pre-Afcon camp will open in the nation's capital, Abuja with largely players based in the country.
"I must also tell you that the camp for the Nations Cup will start on December 17 and it will be filled with the players based in the country. So they have a very good chance to make the Nations Cup team like their foreign-based colleagues. Besides no one is sure of a place just yet because I want to see who is committed," remarked the Nigerian manager.
Keshi has a Caf deadline of January 9, 2013 to name his 23-man team for the Afcon finals.
"Certainly we will meet that deadline," assured the Nigerian coach.
Nigeria's Super Eagles are drawn in Group B of the 2013 Afcon alongside defending champions, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.