Chief Coach of Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles, the Dream Team VI, Samson Siasia has ruled out automatic shirt for any of the players in his team as he will give all the players and the new ones he would call to camp the opportunity to fight for shirts.
The Dream Team VI will be representing Nigeria in the men’s football event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games coming up in August this year. Ahead of the commencement of the preparation for the Games which Siasia said will start by the first week of February, the coach told the website of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF that he would allow new players to try their luck in the team.
According to Siasia who is currently holidaying in the U.S., he and his assistants will use the February camping in Abuja to see if any new player could add value to the team that won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal last year.
“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. 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 that can achieve this,” he said.
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 technical crew in seeing players at close range.
“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. ”
The former Super Eagles’ captain added that for now, he has not made up his mind on the issue of which over-aged player(s) to take to the Olympics.