National U-23 coach, Samson Siasia has vowed to raise a formidable and strong team that would be a pride to all as he commences screening exercise on Monday, November 10 at the Goal Project Center of the Abuja National Stadium.
The former national team coach said his team would be starting the qualifiers for the All African Games in February and preferred early preparations to help him get the needed players.
“If you prepare well you will definitely get a good team and early preparations is an important factor in molding a good team, a reason for starting our screening exercise now. If you look at it we have just four months to our first qualifying match so to me we are even behind schedule, but we will do our best in molding a good team for the country,” Siasia told Goal.
The screening of players commence on Monday with players from football academies in the country. The All African Games slated for Congo Brazzaville next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965. The former Nantes of France striker said the screening of the players would be in two phases and will last for two weeks.
“We are kick starting the screening exercise next week Monday which is 10th of November. The 1st phase of the screening will come up between 10 and 16 and will be solely for players playing for football academies. “At the academy level I will be interested in players who are between the ages of 18 and above and not more than 20 years of age at the oldest for now.
“The second phase that is slated for November 17 to 23rd of this month also will comprise of players playing in the club level. I don’t care if they are in the Premier League or National League, I need to see them prove their mettle in the screening exercise and strictly to be within the age bracket required for the two competitions (African Games and the 2016 Olympics).
Siasia had last month said that players from the Nigeria Professional Football League would form the base of his team for the qualifying series for both the All African Games and the Olympic Games.