Competition between foreign based professionals and counterparts from the domestic league at the Nigeria U-23 screening camp has, so far, impressed coach Samson Siasia.
Siasia is saddled with the responsibility of raising a strong side for next year’s All-Africa Games and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Siasia said: “I love what I am seeing as both the foreign and home-based players are engaged in keen rivalry to make the team.
“I’m over-joyed that those we picked from the home-front have not been intimidated by the presence of their foreign brothers. This to me is a very welcome and healthy development for my technical crew as we will at the end of the day get a team that the nation will be proud of.”
He added: “Some persons have questioned our decision to organize this screening exercise for both the home and foreign-based players. But from what we have on ground, I feel justified in the decision we took in going through this route to get a team for this country.
“I beg Nigerians to believe in us and support this team. Our intention is to have a bunch of players who will be available for the nation for another 10-15 years baring injuries.”
More players are expected to join the training camp from December 14 while those who are involved in club duties would join in January, according to the Beijing Olympics silver medal-winning coach.
In the meantime, more foreign-based players have joined the Nigeria U23 training squad.
Latest arrivals for the screening exercise according to a release by the media officer of the team, Timi Ebikagboro, are: Nansil Selbol of Sporting Kansas, Fred Friday of LSK Norway, Amuzie Stanley of Sassuolo Calsio, Italy, Oladele Oshobe of Lokomotive Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and Atanda Sodiq of FK Apolonia FC, Albania.
Also, the friendly games planned for the team this weekend in Bauchi that would have seen the Dream Team VI tackle Wikki Tourists and an unnamed club have been shifted till next week (Tuesday).