By Ime Bassey
With just two months to the qualifying series for the African U-17 Championship, Niger Tornadoes midfielder, Azubuike Okey has voiced out that he and his colleagues will blend well enough to form another winning squad.
Okey told Saturday Vanguard Sports at the team’s camp that before the qualifiers get underway; the team would be ready to jostle for the African Championship.
“We are getting along very well despite just coming together for the first time. I am sure that before the qualifiers proper, we will gel better enough to restore Nigeria back to her rightful place in the U-17 cadre.
“The training has been very interesting for me seeing other very talented players as myself. I must confess that the team this year is much better than that of the last set” Okey said.
Commenting on the recent stories making the rounds that the team is made up over aged players, the midfielder said, “The team is not made up of over age players as some are saying. I have to be very sincere to you and at least you can see for yourself,” Okey added.
Garba, Ugbade set to replicate China ’85 Eaglets
The Manu Garba-led technical crew of the Golden Eaglets has commenced screening of players to make up the new generations of super stars with a view to restoring the pride of the country’s age grade football.
In a chat with Saturday Vanguard Sports at the team’s FIFA Gold Project camp in Abuja, Coach Garba and his assistant, Nduka Ugbade expressed satisfaction over the skills exhibited by the boys and their commitment to do Nigerian proud.
While assuring Nigerians that he won’t field over aged players in the team, Coach Garba said, “I am very pleased with the level of commitment of the boys. They really showed that there are still young talents in this country.
“I and my technical crew hope to raise a formidable team that will represent this country well beginning from the qualifying series for the African Championship. The boys are getting to know themselves very well to form a better team spirit. I really appreciate the effort of the NFF for their support.”
On his own part, Ugbade, the China ‘85 Golden Eaglets winning captain told Saturday Vanguard Sports that he is out to replicate another team better than the China ’85 squad.
“Each time I remember that squad, I feel I owe this nation something, so I am putting all my best to assist in building another winning Eaglets. I am elated with the way the boys are responding to training, it is a pointer to the fact that we are on the right part,” Ugbade said.