Nduka Ugbade, Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 Technical Team, says the team is working quietly but diligently and assiduously to raise a squad capable of representing Nigeria at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Algeria.
Ugbade, who has worked with a couple of coaches to help Nigeria win the FIFA U17 World Cup, is in charge this time and has led his charges to the African finals after winning the WAFU B Championship in Ghana last summer.
The Africa U17 Cup of Nations will be held in Algeria from the 29th of April to the 19th of May, with Nigeria drawn alongside Morocco, South Africa, and Zambia in a potentially explosive Group B, with the venue in Constantine.
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“We know that some work still has to be done within the next few weeks to put the team in great form.
“I am happy with the level of work we have done and the kind of playing personnel at our disposal.
“I believe everything will come together beautifully and we will have a team that will do the country proud at the tournament,” said Ugbade, who captained Nigeria’s U16 squad to win the inaugural FIFA tourney in China 38 years ago.
The Golden Eaglets returned to camp in Abuja a fortnight ago for the final phase of their preparations for the U17 AFCON, and three days ago, they hammered Mahanaim FC 4-2 in a friendly match at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project within the Moshood Abiola National Stadium complex.
Mahanaim stunned the Eaglets with a goal against the run of play, but the Nigerian cadets responded quickly with a well-taken free-kick to tie the game at 1-1 at halftime.
The Eaglets dominated the second half, scoring three more goals to Mahanaim’s one.
The Eaglets will have one final camp in Europe before flying to Algeria for the continental finals, where the top four teams will qualify to represent Africa at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru.