Nigeria’s U20 coach, John Obuh has made his final list of players to represent the country at the FIFA World Youth Championships in Colombia.
Omo Ojabu, Terry Envoh and Sani Emmanuel from the U17 silver winning team at the World Cup two years ago made the final cut while Dolphins FC midfielder; Chidi Osuchukwu as well as Gbenga Arokoyo were amongst those dropped from the final squad.
Dimunitive midfielder Ramon Azeez and vertically impressive defender Kenneth Omeruo, stars of Nigeria’s gorgeous run to the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on home soil two years ago, top the list that also includes Senior National Team winger Ahmed Musa and full backs Terna Suswan and Emmanuel Anyanwu, who have also represented the Olympic Team.
Goalkeeper Danjuma Paul, midfielder Abdul Jeleel Ajagun and forwards Omoh Ojabu, Olanrewaju Kayode, Terry Envoh, Edafe Egbedi and Sani Emmanuel, who was voted the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, complete the nine members of the squad who have been with Obuh from the FIFA U-17 World Cup days.
Goalkeeper Gideon Gambo, centre-back Ganiu Ogungbe, midfielder Philemon Daniel and striker Uche Nwofor (In pic) were part of the squad that won the African Youth Championship in South Africa on the first day of May, but goalkeeper Kazim Yekini, defenders Felix Udoh and Chimezie Mbah, midfielder Sani Tahir and striker Bright Ejike are new legs in the team.
Italy-based forward Sani Emmanuel has not been part of the set-up for quite some time but he has fitted well at the residential training camp in Portugal ahead of the tournament.
Obuh has so much to worry about after his team failed to score in three pre-World Cup friendlies and then concluded their Four-Nation campaign in Panama with a 4-1 hammering by Mexico on Friday.
Nigeria’s first game of the FIFA U-20 World Cup is against Guatemala in Armenia City on Sunday, with two other matches to come against Croatia (also in Armenia) on August 3 and against Saudi Arabia (in Pereira) on August 6.
THE FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Danjuma Paul (Nasarawa Utd, Nigeria); Gideon Gambo (Sharks, Nigeria); Kazim Yekini (Kwara Utd, Nigeria)
Defenders: Terna Suswan (Setubal, Portugal); Kenneth Omeruo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Ganiu Ogungbe (Gateway, Nigeria); Emmanuel Anyanwu (Heartland, Nigeria); Felix Udoh (First Bank, Nigeria), Chimezie Mbah (Warri Wolves, Nigeria)
Midfielders: Sani Tahir (Vejle, Denmark); Abdul Jeleel Ajagun (Dolphin, Nigeria); Philemon Daniel (Kwara Utd, Nigeria); Ramon Azeez (Almeria, Spain)
Forwards: Omoh Ojabu (Dolphin, Nigeria); Ahmed Musa (VVV Venlo, Netherlands); Bright Ejike (Sharks, Nigeria); Olanrewaju Kayode (ASEC Mimosas, Cote d’Ivoire); Terry Envoh (Sharks, Nigeria); Uche Nwofor (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Sani Emmanuel (Lazio, Italy); Edafe Egbedi (unattached).