Nigeria U-20 have left out AFCON star Kenneth Omeruo from a 30-man provisional squad for the 2013 African Youth Championship.
The biennial championship, which kicks off in Algeria from March 16, will produce four African representatives for the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey later this year.
Omeruo featured for the Flying Eagles in a 2013 AYC qualifier in October against South Africa, but he has since made the big jump to the full international side where he shone as the Super Eagles emerged African champions in South Africa recently.
The Flying Eagles have thus picked four overseas-based players to battle to make the final 21-man squad for the tournament, which will be submitted to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) not later than March 6.
The players are Mikel Agu (FC Porto), Saliu Sodiq (FC Metz, France), Bright Osagie (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria) and Edafe Egbedi (AGF Aarhus, Denmark).
Twenty six other players are drawn from the Nigeria domestic league.
The squad will departed Abuja yesterday afternoon for two warm-up matches in Cairo against their Egyptian counterparts before they fly out to Tunisia for a three-week training camp ahead of their title defence. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has tasked the team to retain the trophy they won in South Africa two years ago and qualify for the U20 World Cup in Turkey.