For the first time, two players born outside the shores of Nigeria have made the squad for the 2019 U17 Africa Cup of Nations, which also serves as qualifiers for the World Youth Championship.
Chelsea teen forward Adrian Akande and young Bournemouth goalkeeper Joseph Oluwabusola made the final list of 23 players selected for the tournament by coach Manu Garba.
Oluwabusola however, is not new to the team as he was part of the team that took part in the WAFU U17 Championship which Nigeria won to seal progress to the Africa U17 Cup of Nations. He could easily have missed out on the list of players for the tournament if not for the fact that first choice goalkeeper John Amah failed the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, which is usually done to curb the menace of age cheats.
Akande on his part impressed team managers after training with the team for one week in Abuja, and the omission of some forward players who are regulars in the team due to the MRI test helped his inclusion in the final squad for the tournament which will begin on the 14th of April in Tanzania.
Overall four players born outside the shores of Nigeria took part in the screening exercise in Abuja but the duo of former Barcelona Escola player Kelechi Ebenezer Ibe-Torti and Go Ahead Eagles’ Lateef Omidiji Junior did not make the cut for the team.
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