Still basking in the euphoria of their qualification to the Olympics, some members of Nigeria under 23 National team will have it in their mind that their place is secured in the team and are set to fly to Rio for the Olympics in Brazil.
But Coach Samson Siasia has affirmed that no player is guaranteed a shirt in his squad for the men’s football tournament of this year’s Olympic games. The former Super Eagles’ manager has also disclosed that the African champions will commence preparations for the Rio Olympics in the first week of February.
Siasia who is currently on vacation in the disclosed that himself and his assistants will use the February camping in Abuja to see any new player could add value to the team that won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal last month.
“Since we qualified for the football event of the Rio Olympics, a lot of players both at home and abroad have been calling me that they want to play for the country, so myself and my assistants intend to use the first week of camping to see these players who will bear the cost of their trip to the camp and accommodate themselves. Any of them selected will now be added to the players who made us proud in Senegal for a full camping. Mind you, no player is yet guaranteed a shirt in the team, as I have always said only the best legs will make it to Rio deJaneiro.
“For now, time is not on our hands and as such, we need to start work in a bid to present a team that will make Nigerians proud in Brazil. For me, after winning silver at the 2008 Olympicsin Beijing, my next target is to go all out for gold in Rio, and I strongly believe we have the players that can achieve this.”
Siasia, who also led the U-20 boys to the African title and runner-up position at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in The Netherlands in 2005, stated that he intends to utilize all the FIFA windowsavailable to him and his technical crew in seeing players at close range.
“For now my plans are to utilize fully all the FIFA windows beginning with the one in March, with the hope of taking players selected to an accessible country in Europe where all the overseas -based players can come with ease, play one or two friendly games and then have them return to their respective clubsides.”
The former Super Eagles’ captain added that for now, he has not made up his mind on the issue of which over -aged player(s) to take to the Olympics.