Francis sure of Afcon shirt
Super Eagles left-back, Benjamin Francis said he is in pole position to cement a shirt in the Afcon 2013 squad.
Francis is among the 22 domestic players that commenced training for the Afcon game on Monday.
The Heartland strongman said there is healthy competition for shirts among his teammates.
"Everything is going on smoothly, we're getting tuned up for the task ahead.
"The spirit among my teammates is high, everybody is doing his best trying to outsmart the other player in the race for shirt.
"But it has been a healthy competition, nobody is seeing it as a do-or-die affair. It's the normal rivalries and excitement among players who are determined to fight for fatherland.
"I'm putting in my best hopeful of nipping a shirt especially as the coaches have vowed to give the best the shirts. I'm working hard to convince the coaches that I'm the best for the job," said the former Niger Tornadoes defender to supersport.com.
Francis said there is no proof of match rustiness following delay in the start of the league season.
"Nothing like match rustiness among my teammates, we belong to different clubs and have been training as well as playing matches. We're in-form and are not showing sign of weariness.
"We're not worried with the naming of the foreign-based players, I'm confident we'll compete favourably and win shirts for ourselves," he said.
The list of the 17 foreign-based players is likely to be made public before the week runs out while the lucky home lads will head to Faro, Portugal on December 27 for the final lap of preparations for the Afcon game.