Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Fernabahce defender Bright Osayi-Samuel were both missing in action as the Super Eagles held their first training session at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Monday ahead of their 2023 AFCON qualifier against Seirra Leone on Sunday in Liberia, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Both players are the last to arrive at the five-day camp as 19 of the 21 players in camp took part in the first training session on Monday afternoon.
PUNCH Sports Extra gathered that the two players will team up with the rest of the squad on Tuesday (today) as they continue their preparations for the game.
Home-based duo Ebube Duru and Divine Nwachukwu were left out of the ball workings on Monday, in order to allow them recover from the intense actions of the NPFL Super 6, which ended on Sunday, where both of them featured in all games for Rivers United and Bendel Insurance respectively.
However, the two home-based goalies in the squad, Olorunleke Ojo and Victor Sochima, who were both in goal on Sunday night for Enyimba and Rivers United respectively in the last game of the NPFL Super 6, joined Isreal-based Adebayo Adeleye in the drills.
In the session which lasted over an hour, the players were put through their shooting, passing and crossing accuracy by coach Jose Peseiro and his foreign assistants, just as goalkeeper trainer Abiodun Baruwa worked with the goalies.
After the session, Peseiro spoke with journalists about their quest to qualify for the tournament, which holds in Ivory Coast next year.
“We have players across different leagues in the world as well as the country and individual goals are important for everyone of them,” Peseiro said.
“But at the same time, we also try to make them realise the need to bring in the goals into the collective effort for the team as well. So, we will play Seirra Leone as a team and we will beat them as a team.
“Of course it won’t be easy, especially when the players are coming at the end of the season with different situations in their minds.”
Nigeria lead their AFCON qualifying group with nine points and a win against the Leone Stars will guarantee a place in Ivory Coast 2023, just as Seirra Leone also need a win to boost their chances of qualifying.