In their quest for the golden fleece, five-time world champions, Golden Eaglets of Nigeria are scheduled to arrive in the Algerian city of Constantine on Sunday night for their final preparations for this year’s Africa U17 Cup of Nations.
Following complications that arose in the process of securing entry visa into Germany for a planned final training camp in that country, the Nigeria Football Federation opted to send the squad earlier to Algeria for the final build-up, and Constantine, the renown city where the Eaglets will play Morocco, Zambia and South Africa in Group B.
The wards of FIFA Cadet World Cup -winning captain, Nduka Ugbade, swept all before them to win the WAFU B U17 Championship in Cape Coast, Ghana 10 months ago, and have put on display tremendous firepower in their preparations for the continental showpiece.
After resuming camp mid-March following the break for the general elections, the Eaglets played 12 friendly matches at their NFF/FIFA Goal Project, Abuja base, winning 11 of the matches and drawing the other one. They scored a total of 66 goals and conceded 14.
“We are going to Algeria with confidence but with level heads. We’re the champions of WAFU B, but in essence, nothing has been won. What matters now are winning a ticket to the FIFA World Cup and winning the Africa Cup. I believe we have the boys to do the job,” Ugbade said before the team left Nigeria on Sunday.
Nigeria will launch her campaign for honours at the 12-team continental championship on Sunday next week, against Zambia at the 22,000 -capacity Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui. They will then take on Morocco and South Africa in other matches in Group B.
The top four-placed teams in Algeria will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals scheduled for later this year.
THE 26 PLAYERS IN ALGERIA:
Richard Odoh (HB Football Academy)
Yahaya Danjuma Lawali (Mahanaim FC)
Emmanuel Michael (Simon Ben Football Academy)
Haruna Abdullahi (Kurfi Tigers Academy)
Tochukwu Joseph Ogboji (Purple Crown Academy)
Jeremiah Oluwaseyi Olaleke (Ablaze Football Academy)
Umar Abubakar (Devine Football Academy)
Abubakar Idris Abdullahi (Jega United)
Precious Tonye Williams (HB Football Academy)
Ifeoluwa Adewale Olowoporoku (Triple 44 Academy)
Charles Adah Agada (Mavlon FC)
Hope Yusuf Linus (E.E. Sporting Club)
Jubril Opeyemi Azeez (Right Vision Choice Academy)
Anongu Isaac Aondoakaa (FC Bathel Sporting)
Israel Nwachukwu Usulor (Real Sapphire FC)
Temiloluwa Oluwayimika Adelakin (Box2Box Academy)
Simon Karshe Cletus (Mavlon FC)
Tochukwu Simeon Ogbadibo (Jossy United)
Light Chijioke Eke (C&C Football Academy)
Favour Oluwasegun Daniel (G12 Football Academy)
Chijioke Julius Linus (Triple 44 Academy)
Quadri Oluwatobiloba Adewale (Nathaniel Boys FC)
Gift Ukeh Adie (Paul E Football Academy)
Musa Oluwaseyi Akinfenwa (Real Sapphire FC)
Usman Ajibola Owoyemi (Triple 44 Academy)
Matthew Awodi Kingsley (Brook House Academy)