The Flying Eagles of Nigeria face an uphill task in trying to qualify for next year's Under-20 world cup as they have to first navigate a brutal zonal pre-qualifier tournament.
In the pre-qualifying WAFU B Cup taking place this December in Benin Republic, Bosso's boys will do battle against heavyweights Ghana and Ivory Coast with only 1 victor qualifying for the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations - this has been billed to take place in Mauritania between February and March 2021.
From that Afcon tournament, the top 4 teams will qualify for the World Cup in Indonesia to be held between 20 May and 12 June 2021.
Coach Bosso recently released a list of
20 players expected to make it out of the WAFU B tournament in December. The roll call looks promising with players drawn from the domestic league, previous Under-17 squad and also 2 based abroad.
The Flying Eagles have been playing tune-up matches with results reported to be overwhelmingly positive. Examples of these are the thrashing of Horvel Prime Academy 4:0 in Abuja and the victory over Tripple 44 Football Club 3:0 both recently, to mention but a few.
In the last WAFU B tournament 2 years ago, Nigeria overcame noisy neighbours Ghana and Niger in Group B and then brushed Mali aside in the semi-finals before losing 2:0 to Senegal in the final.
Nigeria still qualified for the Afcon as second to Senegal.
Just like last time, only 1 team will progress from the group of 3 and Bosso will be plotting for his boys to claim the singular 1 million dollars ticket.
Niger Republic, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso will slug it out for the sole ticket in WAFU Group A.
Coach Ladan Bosso already wants Nigeria fans to expect a formidable, battle-ready U-20 outfit worthy of overcoming daunting odds.
"Our goal is to build a solid team before the tournament," said the coach recently.
“We will continue our physical and tactical routines and engage in more friendly matches to fine tune our strategies for the battle ahead." He concluded.
Nigeria's curtain raiser comes on 6th December.
Ghana and Ivory Coast have also reportedly stepped up their efforts in ensuring either of them come out victorious.
Being a veteran coach in the NPFL and also a former Nigeria Under-20 world cup coach, fans are hoping Bosso's experience and expertise, the pedigree of invited players and recent encouraging results in tune up matches will contribute to seeing the Flying Eagles through what is indeed a tricky WAFU pre-qualifying group.
When it was announced that Bosso would take over as the coach of the Flying Eagles in September this year (13 years after leading the same age grade set up the world cup) the appointment was met with a resigned shrug of the shoulders by many Nigeria fans who were disappointed in the NFF for what they saw as the recycling of known coaches with uninspiring Curriculum Vitaes.
Bosso now has a chance to win over skeptics starting with his team's performance in December's WAFU B Cup.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: John Amah (Box2Box FC), Chibueze Lambert (Abia Warriors), Kolawole Oladipo (Crown FC)
Defenders: Temitayo Ereku (Brookhouse Academy), Charles Etim (Blessed Stars), Mike Zaruma (Plateau United), Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United), Moses Solomon (Calabar Rovers), Isaiah Ejeh (Kwara United), Jimmy Abdul (MFM)
Midfielders: Oladoye Adewale (Water FC), Liameed Quadri (36 Lions), Muhammad Abdallah (Nasarawa United), Azeez Oseni (36 Lions)
Attackers: Chisom Orji (Collins Edwin), Wisdom Ubani (Giant Brillas), Farayola Olawale (Kwara United), Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi (Giant Brillas), Nenrot Silas (Plateau United), Peter Olawale (Hapoel Ranana, Israel)
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