National U-23 team coach, Samson Siasia has included 10 over-aged players in the 60-man list he submitted to the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) technical committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.
The coach, who has commenced training in Abuja with some of the listed players is expected to pick his final 21 players for the games from the pool which included the 10 over-aged players that would be reduced to three for the final list.
Siasia, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja refused to disclose the names of the 10 players, insisting that it was not yet time to unveil them.
Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo are some of the over-aged players the former Super Eagles coach would pick from his pool.
Siasia, who confirmed reports that the Dream Team VI would be playing Honduras in an international friendly match, noted that the team is not yet prepared for the Olympic Games, even as his target at the Olympics is nothing short of the gold medal.
“It is out of place to ask whether we are ready because we are certainly not ready. We just started training and it will take some while for us to be ready. Now that we have known our group opponents and secured some friendly matches after speaking with some of the coaches during the draw, we will be very focused.
“The Honduras coach specifically assured me that he would be ready to lead his team for a friendly with my team during our pre-tournament camping in USA. For me, the most important thing is to put a formidable team together to do the job for us in Rio.
“We have a list of 60 players in the pool. It is obvious now that we cannot bring in any new player into those 60 shortlisted players. We have already resumed all the paper work to ensure that we submit the list on time before the deadline.
“The federation has started writing letters to the foreign clubs of the players we penciled down for possible selection. We want to plead with them for permission to release the players for us in August for the tournament.
“I included about 10 over-aged players in the shortlisted 60 players. It became necessary because if we don’t include them in the list, it will be very difficult for them to make the final list.
“For now I don’t want to disclose the identity of the over-aged players in the list until I know the current form of the players and the positions we need their assistance.” he noted.
The Dream Team VI coach also dismissed claims that the listing of PSG of France attacker, Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Juan Cuadrago as over-aged players for Sweden and Colombia respectively, could be a threat to the Nigerian side.
“They know why they need those players to play for them, but obviously they can’t scare us. It is not about one individual, it is about a team. We have played against bigger players before in the Olympics. Are they going to present a stronger team that will play against us? That is the question and not about an individual player.” He noted.