Debutants Niger name Africa Cup of Nations squad

Niger coach Harouna Doula has named his final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

The debutants surprised many by finishing ahead of Egypt and South Africa to qualify for the finals.

That feat lead to Doula being named the Confederation of African Fooball's Coach of the Year.

Captain Idrissa Laouli, who plays for AS FAN, is one of seven locally-based players in the squad.

The team are currently preparing for the Nations Cup in Cameroon.

NIGER AT CAN 2012

  • v Gabon 23/12 (Libreville)
  • v Tunisia 27/12 (Libreville)
  • v Morocco 31/12 (Libreville)

Their key player for the finals is likely to be striker Moussa Maazou, who plays in Belgium for Zulte Waregem and his previous sides include CSKA Moscow and Bordeaux.

Maazou also scored the winning goal against Egypt in Niamey in October 2010 to help set up Niger's surprise qualification.

They kick off their Nations Cup campaign on 23 January against co-hosts Gabon before games against Tunisia and Morocco in Group D.

Niger squad:

Goalkeepers: Daouda Kassaly (Coton Sport, Cameroon), Rabo Saminou (Sahel SC), Lossény Doumbia (DC Motema Pembe, DR Congo)

Defenders: Koffi Dan Kowa (ES Zarzis, Tunisia), Kader Amadou Dodo (Olympic FC), Mohamed Chikoto (Platinium Stars, South Africa), Mohamed Soumaïla (Olympic FC), Djibrilla Moussa (AS Garde Nationale), Souleymane Mazadou (Union Sportive Marignanaise, France), Jimmy Bulus (Hussein Dey, Algeria), Issiaka Koudize (AS Garde Nationale)

Midfielders: Idrissa Laouali (AS FAN), Abdoul-Karim Lancina (Coton Sport, Cameroon), William Tonji Ngounou (IF Limhamn, Sweden), Olivier Harouna Bonnes (Lille, France), Yacouba Ali (Africa Sports, Ivory Coast), Idrissa Saïdou (Coton Sport, Cameroon), Boubacar Talatou (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Moutari Amadou (Akokana FC), Issoufou Boubacar (FC Phuket, Thailand)

Attackers: Moussa Maazou (Zulte Waregem, Belgium), Issoufou Alhassane Dante (Raja Casablanca, Morocco), Kamilou Daouda (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia)