Enyimba left-back Ikouwem Utin has been selected in Salisu Yusuf’s Nigeria squad for the 5th African Nations Championship, which will kick off in Morocco next week.
The young player was not part of Yusuf’s 30-man provisional squad but was invited to the team’s training camp following an impressive outing with Enyimba in the Super 6 tournament held in Kano.
Kano Pillars’ Rabiu Ali — a member of the team for CHAN 2014 — is also included, as is last season’s highest goalscorer Anthony Okpotu, Plateau United’s Oladele Ajiboye along with Akwa United’s new signing Sunday Faleye.
Only four players from the 2016 team — Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Osas Okoro, Kalu Orji and Stephen Eze — are named in the squad.
WAFU Cup stars Kingsley Eduwo and Adeleye Olamilekan will miss the tournament after they were surprisingly omitted from the squad.
Enyimba, who finished third in the Nigeria Professional Football League, are the most represented club in the squad, with five players in Yusuf’s 23.
According to an official statement, the Nigeria contingent will depart for Morocco ‘in a few days’, to continue preparations.
Nigeria open their campaign with a fixture against Rwanda in Tangier on Monday, 15th January.
•Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Oladele Ajiboye (Plateau United); Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC)
•Defenders: Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United); Osas Okoro (Rangers International); Daniel James Itodo (Plateau United); Kalu Orji Okogbue (Rangers International); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Abdullahi Musa (Wikki Tourists); Timothy Danladi (Katsina United); Ifeanyi Nweke (Kano Pillars); Stephen Eze (Kano Pillars)
•Midfielders: Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Augustine Oladapo (Enyimba FC); Ekundayo Ojo (Sunshine Stars)
•Forwards: Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars); Eneji Moses (Plateau United); Ibrahim Mustapha (Enyimba FC); Emeka Ogbuh (Rivers United); Sunday Faleye (Akwa United); Nura Muhammed (El-Kanemi Warriors); Okechukwu Gabriel (Akwa United)