Monday, January 17, 2011

Shola Ameobi to play for Super Eagles

At last it appears that Newcastle United's Nigerian born forward Shola Ameobi has finally decided to play for his fatherland after his name was included in the list of players invited for next month's international friendly against Guatemala.

For years the player, who was born in Nigeria but moved to England with his parents at five when his farther gained admission to the University of Newcastle to read agriculture, had repeatedly snubbed efforts to get him to commit his future to the Eagles instead insisting that he would prefer playing for England's Three Lions.

However, last month newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia travelled to England to meet the Newcastle striker after which he announced that the 29-year-old player has had a change of heart and was now ready to play for Nigeria.

Also included on the 20-man list is another England based player, Victor Moses, who plays for Wigan Athletic.

The list, which is Samson Siasia's first since being appointed as Super Eagles manager last month, also has Karabukspor striker Emmanuel Emenike, who recently committed his international future to Nigeria rather than Turkey where he presently plies his trade. Completing the cast of newcomers to the squad are the Italy based duo of Inter Milan's Obiora Nwankwo and Siena's Michael Odibe.

Heartland's Bartholomew Ibenegbu, who scored in a kickabout as Siasia's local Eagles were held to a 2-2 draw by John Obuh's Under-20 team on Thursday in Abuja, is one of two players from the domestic Nigerian league called up by the national team handler. The other is full back Chibuzor Okonkwo, who joined Heartland at the start of the campaign from Bayelsa United.

Full back Adefemi Olubayo, who was a member of the U-23 team, which reached the final of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, gets a surprise call up after languishing in the international wilderness in the wake of his club troubles with Skoda Xanthi of Greece.

The younger brother of Portsmouth striker, John Utaka, Peter, who has enjoyed a prolific spell in Denmark over the past two seasons, returns to the fold to stake a claim for a permanent position.

Seven members of the Super Eagles who were part of the side that did poorly at South Africa 2010 including Joseph Yobo, who replaced Nwankwo Kanu as skipper after the World Cup, are also part of Siasia's Guatemala friendly list.

Full squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel)

DEFENDERS: Chibuzor Okonkwo (Heartland), Ayodele Adeleye (Metallurh Donetsk, Ukraine), Taye Taiwo (Olympic Marseille, France), Michael Odibe (A. C. Siena, Italy), Olubayo Adefemi (Skoda Xanthi, Greece), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey)

MIDFIELDERS: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Obiora Nwankwo (Inter Milan, Italy), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic, England), Bartholomew Ibenegbu (Heartland), Olufemi Ajilore (FC Groningen, The Netherlands)

FORWARDS: Ahmed Musa (V.V.V. Venlo, The Netherlands), Osaze Odemwingie (West Brom, England), Obinna Nsofor (West Ham, England), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle, England), Emmanuel Emenike (Karaburkspor, Turkey), Peter Utaka (Odense Boldklub, Denmark)

This Day

Related stories: Siasia makes Shola Ameobi approach

Siasia lands Super Eagles job

Newcastle forever I'll cherish - Ameobi

1 comment: