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Keshi looks to add local flavour

By Football News



Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is eager to take home-based players to the African Cup of Nations if they can prove their value to the team.

Keshi opened a training camp on Monday for 22 home-based players in preparation for the tournament, which kicks off in Johannesburg on January 19.

And the 50-year-old said he would be pleased to take players from the Nigeria Premier League to South Africa, but is not making any promises.

"It will be my delight if 10 players prove good enough to make the championship roster," Keshi said.

"I will be happy if at all times four of such players start every game but you have to prove it on the pitch that you are ready for the challenge."

Kano Pillars players Gabriel Reuben and Papa Idris, who have been out of action for three months through injury, got through Monday's session with no fresh concerns.

Team doctor Ibrahim Gyaran was pleased that both players had been passed fit for the camping exercise.

"The only fear I have is that since they have not played competitive football for sometimes they will still experience some mind jitters," he said.

"But that is only a thing of the mind and the team psychologist, Robinson Okosun, and the coaching crew are already working on that aspect."