Nigeria’s Under-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets won all their qualification games for the Cup of Africa Nations Under-17 tournament, but now it is crunch time in Morocco where they will face Gabon in the group B opener.
The Eaglets return to the tournament after three years of absence and according to coach Manu Garba, their aim is not just to win a qualification ticket to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates, but to win just like the Super Eagles did in South Africa early this year.
“We are steadfast about our main objective of qualifying for the World Cup as African champions and by the grace of God, we shall succeed,” said Garba.
“The ball is now in the court of the players and they know what is expected. What we want is for Nigerians to continue to assist them with their prayers and we shall be victorious,” he noted.
The squad began training three hours after arriving in Marrakech from Lagos with limbering exercises at the Youssef Ben Ali Stadium on Wednesday, before continuing on Thursday at the Stade Zarktoni.
Garba who was part of the coaching crew in 2007 when the Eaglets ruled the world said that his boys are ready to play and win.
“I don’t think these boys would suffer stage fright. Why do I say this? If a team can travel out of the shores of the country and win all its qualifying matches, I think such team deserves some respect.
“I remember that some people thought we were going to be eliminated by Mali after we beat them 2-0 in Calabar. They felt that Mali had better advantage because of their size and coupled with the fact that the second leg was going to be away in Bamako.