At a time when Super Eagles matters have been dominating the Nigerian football conversation space for fans, Ladan Bosso’s Flying Eagles are going about their preparations for the 2020 Under-20 Wafu Cup with ruthless efficiency. Just today, they recorded an emphatic 3:0 win against Zaira Academy with Adewale Oladoye aka Patrick Viera grabbing the headlines for one of the goals. Prior results have also generated this reassuringly warm glow of satisfaction with results like the 5:0 trouncing of KCG Academy, 4:1 stinging of Scorpion FC, 3:0 spanking of Triple 44 Academy and 4:0 demolition of Horvel Prime Academy (luckily, Prime Academy did not claw their way back into the match to make it 4:4 otherwise Ladan Bosso would have been sacked instantly [Lol]). Yet, the true test lies ahead in the WAFU Cup. This weekend, they will lock horns against a formidable foe in the way of Ivory Coast before the eagerly anticipated crucial encounter against noisy neighbours and perennial foes Ghana. Surprisingly, coach Bosso appears undaunted. My jaw dropped when I was reading an interview the other day on busybuddiesng.com in which the Niger State born coach called what is in essence a group of death a ‘blessing in disguise’!
“Everybody is going to the tournament to compete for a slot,” said Bosso. “We are in the same group with Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and I believe it is a blessing in disguise. People will look at it as a tough group knowing fully that even the smaller countries are even tougher when it comes to football.” He concluded. Well, going by how Sierra Leone drew water from stone in November senior Afcon qualifiers to accumulate 2 respectable points from 2 matches against the mighty Super Eagles of Nigeria, I sort of see where Bosso is coming from by urging caution against so-called smaller teams. But I have to say, his confidence is highly commendable for Ghana and Ivory Coast are true heavyweights. Nigeria fans will definitely hold him to it. “It’s going to be a good outing – qualify from this group and move to the next group. And when you are used to the terrain, you should be able to, at least, do something that will make everybody happy with you in the country,”: Bosso emphasised fearlessly. And happiness is what Nigeria fans want at the moment because resumption of football post-Covid Lockdown has brought little to cheer about largely due to lukewarm results from recent Super Eagles matches. As we go into Yuletide season, all eyes are on Bosso and his boys to go the Benin Republic and do the nation proud. Players like Israel based Peter Olawale, Kwara United’s Farayo Adewale, 36 Lions Azeez Oseni and Ex-Golden Eaglets star Hassan Hussain have all been in inspired form in recent tune up matches as they helped the team decimate all before them (as the results of warm up matches attest). They will now need to carry this scintillating form into the tournament proper. “The most important thing is get good preparation and get the mindset of the players very positive.” said Bosso. The belated preparations are going well and Bosso’s mindset is positive (which he is hopefully injecting into his boys). What is left now is for the Flying Eagles to go to Benin and bring back the ticket to the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
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