Augustine Eguavoen’s 28-man Africa Cup of Nations squad has a refreshing look about it.
An international manager has always said that players are picked for international tournaments on form, but Eguavoen has made good on the claim, and his team head for Cameroon cautiously optimistic rather than worrying about the heavy hang of expectation.
With Leon Balogun, Victor Osimhen, Shehu Abdullahi and Emmanuel Dennis ruled out to various reasons, the team will be out to prove a point at the next Cup of Nations.
The likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Chidera Ejuke, Maduka Okoye, Frank Onyeka and Sadiq Umar head to Cameroon as relative novices, but all on the back on excellent form for their respective clubs.
The big ask for Eguavoen now is for him to dive head first into the unknown in Cameroon, and give the untried a chance to swim.
So does Eguavoen ditch the tired old formula of William Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo, and leave the likes of Odion Ighalo out for some of the squad’s more exciting stars?
The former Bendel Insurance, Enyimba and Sharks manager has won widespread plaudits for his bold selection, but Eguavoen must now fully embrace the future, and with expectation at its most realistic for a generation, there is no time better than now.