The Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi has begun the process of pruning the number of players in the training camp of the Nigerian national team ahead of the African Cup of Nations in South Africa with the dropping of four players out of the 31 in camp during dinner Sunday night.
The dropped players are: injured Rizespur of Turkey striker, Uchenna Kalu, new Kilmarnock of Scotland boy Rabiu Ibrahim, Henry Uche of Enyimba and Papa Idris of Kano Pillars. The four players departed from the camp on Monday morning for their various clubs.
Keshi had dropped hints that some players would be dropped by evening time when he said that the coaching crew could not take everyone to the tournament during the morning training sessions.
He admonished the would-be dropped players to not see it as though it was because they are not good enough, but to take it in good faith.
Even before the players were asked to go, three coaches, Sylvanus Okpala (MON), Ike Shorunmu and Hyoundonou Valere took the players to a section of the dining hall for special counselling and words of encouragement. They assured the players that they were still a part and parcel of the team and will be recalled once the World Cup qualifiers commence immediately after the Nations Cup.
The players were filled with appreciation of the sincerity and fatherly disposition of the coaching crew and promised to keep their heads high at their various sides so as to earn call-ups to the national team again. Kalu said he was personally pained that injury denied him a place in the team and promised to bounce back in the coming months for the national team.