Twenty three players except one of all the invited trained on Monday morning under the supervision of coach Stephen Keshi and his crew inside the Abuja National Stadium.
The home based Super Eagles have never qualified for the tournament which is heading into its third edition next year in South Africa, the same country where Nigeria won her third African senior title in February 2013.
Keshi is hoping to be the first to lead a Nigerian contingent to the tournament and perhaps even win it with eight members of his squad having being part of the country’s squad to the Afcon in January and the Confederations Cup in June.
“Let me say I have absolute confidence in you to achieve the feat of defeating Cote D’Ivoire, but you must have belief in yourself more to achieve the set goal,” Keshi told the team during training on Monday.
National team media officer Ben Alaiya said the team would depart for Kaduna on Wednesday evening before playing its game on Saturday against the Elephants who are one of only four teams to have played in both previous competitions geared towards exposing players from domestic leagues on the continent.
Cote D’Ivoire hosted the maiden tournament in 2009 and also played in the edition hosted by Sudan two years later but did not make it past the group stage in both outings.