In a season when Nigeria’s underage teams across gender have witnessed tremendous tournaments qualification success, Nduka Ugbade’s Golden Eaglets hope to apply the final piece of the jigsaw to the puzzle.
The female Under-17 and Under-20 teams qualfied for their respective world cups in audacious manner by dismantling all oppositions they came against. Then Bosso’s Flying Eagles blew everyone away with their swashbuckling brand of football that sealed 2023 Afcon qualification.
What is left now is for Ugbade’s Under-17 to successfully navigate the Wafu Zone B Cup thereby making it 4 out of 4 qualification successes for Nigeria’s underage teams in 2022.
And Nduka Ugbade seems fired up to prime and unleash a squad that is expected to do the nation proud.
“The team you will get is surely going to be more; they won’t be just Golden Eaglets but they will be Super Eaglets,” said coach Ugbade to thenationonline.ng.
“You are going to see everything – strength and speed, intelligence; most importantly and a lot of creativity.” He concluded.
Well, we fans don’t have long to wait. Saturday is just round the corner with Ghana as the first opponents and then Togo later on in the week. Hopefully the players will put their boots where Ugbade’s mouth is.
It is not going to be easy though.
With the disadvantages of late preparations and then trimming over 40 players down to the required number for the tournament, Nduka Ugbade has his work cut out.
But he remains buoyant and optimistic. The former Golden Eaglet himself is hoping his team can rekindle and reproduce the sort of performances that brought greatness to Nigeria at this stage in years gone by.
“We are working very hard to have a formidable team to represent the nation and so the boys are working hard for us to get that (past) glory back.” Said Ugbade.
All eyes will be on the former MFM coach to make good on his statements. The 52 year old gaffer was not first choice to lead the Golden Eaglets but he eventually got his chance.
Hopefully he will make the very best use of it.
I wish the Eaglets good luck in Ghana.
GOLDEN EAGLETS FOR WAFU B U17 CHAMPIONSHIP IN CAPE COAST Goalkeepers: Richard Odoh, Hameed Balogun, Pascal Uzoho Defenders: Jeremiah Olaleke, Emmanuel Michael, Tochukwu Ogboji, Yahaya Lawal, Miracle Ogwor Midfielders: Basil Mbata, Ebube Okere, Tochukwu Ogbabido, Richard Uche, Ozor Okeke, Raphael Oyebanjo Forwards: Umar Abubakar, Kevwe Iyede, Light Eke, Abubakar Abdullahi, Jubril Azeez, Precious Williams Standby: Utibe Silas, Abdullahi Buhari, Abubakar Shaibu, Tijjani Mohammed, Stephen Emmanuel.
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