By Albert Akota
The Super Eagles’ Radisson Blu Hotel camp in Wroclaw has become a beehive of activities following the arrival of 22 players and the beginning of training sessions yesterday.
Technical and backroom staff, alongside six players opened the camp on Monday, but the facility exploded into life with the arrival of goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, Stephen Eze, Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Joel Obi, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi, Uche Agbo and Wilfred Ndidi, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses on Tuesday.
Nigeria –based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and South Africa –based Daniel Akpeyi are expected today.
Skipper Mikel John Obi is unlikely to make it to Wroclaw as he has been working hard at renewing his work permit in China, where he plays for Tianjin Teda. Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor said yesterday: “We all had been hoping that the renewal would come in good time for him to fly to Poland. As it is now, it is not likely that he would make the trip.”
Midfield Trojan Oghenekaro Etebo is injured, and Egypt –based Junior Ajayi, who was unable to secure visa into Poland, will fly directly to London for Tuesday’s clash with Serbia at The Hive, Canons Park.
The team trained twice yesterday, with the same schedule for today, before Thursday’s training at match time inside the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw. The match kicks off at 8.45pm (Nigeria and Poland are on same time zone) on Friday.
Friday’s showdown inside the 43,000 –capacity stadium formally opens the first phase of the Super Eagles’ preparation for the 21st FIFA World Cup finals, taking place in the Russian Federation 14th June – 15th July this year.
After Tuesday’s game with Serbia in London, the three –time African champions will play a Send –Forth match against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Nigeria, before flying back to London for a prestige clash England’s Three Lions at Wembley on 2nd June.
Four days later, they come up against the Czech Republic at their final training camp in Austria, and another friendly game is on the cards before the squad jets out to the World Cup finals on 11th June.
Nigeria’s team base camp at the 21st FIFA World Cup finals is located in Yessentuki, Stavropol territory in the southern region of the Russian Federation.
The pre-World Cup friendly match between Nigeria and the Polish national team, who are ranked 8th in the recently released FIFA Ranking, will kick off at 8:45pm Nigerian time.
The Super Eagles will then take on the Serbian national team on Tuesday, March 27 in London.