Siasia plans Europe friendlies ahead Rio Olympics

Siasia plans Europe friendlies ahead Rio Olympics
Siasia with the U23 AFCON last year . Will he also strike Gold in Rio?

by Staff Reporter

Tuesday Jan 05, 2016. 13:43

Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia has said he plans Europe training camps and test matches as part of his team’s preparations for the Rio Olympics in August.

Nigeria will be in Rio as African U23 champions after they last featured at the Olympics in 2008.

The former Super Eagles manager disclosed that the African champions will commence preparations for the Rio Olympics in the first week of February.

Siasia, who also led the U-20 boys to the African title and runner-up position at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in The Netherlands in 2005, stated that he intends to utilize all the FIFA windows available to him and his assistants to see other players at close quarters.

"For now my plans are to utilize fully all the FIFA windows beginning with the one in March, with the hope of taking players selected to an accessible country in Europe where all the overseas -based players can come with ease, play one or two friendly games and then have them return to their respective clubsides," he said.

Siasia said he plans to use the February camping in Abuja to see any new player who could add value to the team who won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal last month.

"Since we qualified for the football event of the Rio Olympics, a lot of players both at home and abroad have been calling me that they want to play for the country, so myself and my assistants intend to use the first week of camping to see these players who will bear the cost of their trip to the camp and accommodate themselves,” he said.

“Any of them selected will now be added to the players who made us proud in Senegal for a full camping. Mind you, no player is yet guaranteed a shirt in the team, as I have always said only the best legs will make it to Rio de Janeiro.

"For now, time is not on our hands and as such, we need to start work in a bid to present a team that will make Nigerians proud in Brazil.

“For me, after winning silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, my next target is to go all out for gold in Rio, and I strongly believe we have the players who can achieve this."

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