By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Eight players that made Nigeria proud by winning the male volleyball gold at the recently concluded Africa Youth Games are expected to feature for Nigeria’s U-21 team at the 2018 U-21 Men African Nations Volleyball Championship to be hosted by Abuja from September 10 to 20, 2018.
This hint was dropped by the U-21 Head Coach, Elishama Elam while fielding questions from newsmen at the Murtala Square camp of the team in Kaduna on Wednesday.
“I have some crop of U-17 that just came back from Algeria, so we have some information on North African countries. Eight of the U-17 who won the Africa Youth Games gold in Algeria are in the team,” he said.
Elam explained that Nigeria’s National U-20 said that the camp started since August 26 and they are preparing to make the country proud.
“With the level of preparation, we will do well. I don’t believe in hosting to win, but we will win, even if the competition is taken elsewhere, we will win,” he assured.
On the condition of the camp so far, he said it was moving smoothly, while hinting that the number of players would be pruned by Thursday.
“The feeding is okay, the President of NVBF and board members are ensuring we are adequately catered for. Right now there are 30 in camp but by tomorrow they would be reduced to 18,” he added.
He explained that they would be in Kaduna till September 5, when they will move to venue of competition Abuja to acclimatize.
Fielding questions, captain of the team, Moses Gana who is 19 years old, said that they have been blending at the preparation and are ready to make Nigeria proud.
Another player in camp, Henry Ibe Bruno Tochukwu, 17 years old, and one of those that won gold for Nigeria, said that the players in camp from experience gathered at the Africa Youth Games, are ready to do Nigeria proud.
While at the camp, the President Nigerian Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod was sighted giving the players moral support. He however, declined speaking to the press.
Twelve countries are participating namely; hosts Nigeria, Congo RDC, Chad, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Guinea, Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Botswana, Cameroon and Morocco.