Maikaba plans without CHAN-bound stars at Akwa Utd

Akwa United head coach Abdu Maikaba is braced for life without a handful of some of his top stars when the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season kicks off on 14 January.

Maikaba knows a handful of his players could get the attention of national selectors for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) billed to hold in Morocco between 12 January and 4 February next year.


The Akwa United manager is now planning for the possibility of missing some of his superstars for 24 days - the duration for which the CHAN will take place - should the Super Eagles make it all the way to the showpiece match.

Emmanuel Ariwachukwu, Afeez Aremu, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Gabriel Okechukwu and Ubong Friday were part of the Super Eagles team that finished second at the WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana this year.

Maikaba is hoping to blood in his new players with the old in time before the new league season kicks off in mid-January.

Already the Akwa United trainer said he has identified every loopholes and

"We are planning without the players that possibly will be called up for CHAN. The only areas where we are having challenges is to see how we can fix this new players and we are working hard to resolve that before start of the season.

"We will go back to the drawing board. I have seen some of the problems we need to work on before commencement of the season," said Maikaba after his team defeated Abia Warriors 1-0 in a friendly on Sunday.

Maikaba still has a chance to put his team through their paces when the NPFL Invitational tournament holds in Kano between 11 and 17 December.

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