Golden Eaglets coach Emmanuel Amuneke has been backed to produced quality players like the set of 2013 that won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Amuneke who assisted Manu Garba in the UAE, had on Wednesday, March 26 invited 35 players to an open screening camp ahead of the 2015 African U-17 Championship qualifiers. Nigeria Football Federation chief technical officer Siji Lagunju expressed optimism that the ongoing screening exercise been conducted at the National Stadium Abuja for the Golden Eaglets would yield positive results.
“Although, we just started the screening on Thursday, I can tell you that we have seen some talents here that can be trained to measure up to our standard.
“With this exercise, we hope to get a very good team that can win the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the country,” he said.
The former Super Eagles striker expressed optimism that the team’s present technical crew would come out of the screening with the best players for the country.
“The present coach, Amuneke, was in the technical crew which produced the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning team, and I am sure he won’t deviate from that standard.
“He knows what it takes to do that and he has been up there among the best. So, he will do a good job,” he said.
Lagunju however declared that the team’s camp was still open for hitherto-uninvited players to display their talents, even though some players had already been sent home.
“When we started, we had over 500 players, and before the end of yesterday, over 300 were sent back.
“Most of them are either over-age or not talented, because the major criteria we are using is being within the 17 years of age and having talents of the game.
“But the camp is still open to players who want to show us the stuff they have,” he said.
He said the selected players will go into closed door camping programme that will come up in another two weeks.
“This first phase of the screening, which is open, will last for two weeks after which we will start the closed camping when the players will be concentrated on.