Manu Garba dismisses reports, says Golden Eaglets camp has not opened

By Daily Sports on April 14, 2018

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Nigeria U17 coach Manu Garba has emphasised that the Golden Eaglets get-together has yet to start, contrary to reports in the local media that the team has already begun preparations in Abuja.

Indeed Garba was only at the FIFA Goal Project to run the rule over the Nigeria U15 team and the schoolboys are in camp for a one-week camp which started on Monday.

The Nigeria U15s are coached for this sole purpose by coach Haruna Ilerika and assisted by Bunmi Haruna.

“From what I have seen on ground, I am impressed by the midfield and attack,” said Manu Garba.

“No, we cannot say the Nigeria U17 camp has opened because I and my assistants ant have gone round the country to select the team that will do the proper qualifiers.

“That notwithstanding we are going to take some of these boys I have seen, give them chances to fight for positions in the team we are going to assemble. They are young, they are good.

“No, I can’t say we are going to categorically build the team around them. I believe some of them will make the team.”

Asked when the Nigeria U17s will start camp for the African zonal qualifiers, Manu answered: “I have submitted my training programme, we are just waiting for the go-ahead from the NFF and I believe by next week we may open the camp.”

Meanwhile, Coach Manu Garba is confident about the team’s chances of qualifying for the 2019 Africa U17 Cup of Nations but stressed that they must start preparations as soon as possible and with the right players.

The Golden Eaglets will battle Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Niger, Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso in the zonal qualifiers and only one team can qualify for next year’s tournament in Tanzania from that pool.

“We beat them 6-1 during the African U17 Nations Cup in Morocco, Ghana we beat them 2-0 in a friendly before the Nations Cup qualifiers,” said Manu Garba.

“We beat them at U20 level 2-0 in the semifinals at Senegal. Ghana or any other nation we are not going to be afraid as long as we have the right players and right motivation, prepare the players very well. We don’t fear any team.”

On the other teams in CAF Zone 3, Garba said: “These are the powerhouses of African football, West Africa has been dominating age grade category. All other teams are as good as qualifying for the Nations Cup.

“Nigeria is rated number one at U17 level, not only in African football but world football so all of them have Nigeria to beat. The most important thing is getting the right players, getting the right preparations and getting the team motivated to go all the way.

“We need to start in good time, we need to put these boys in camp so that we can train them very well. We need to play a lot of friendlies to train them for the task ahead.

“It is very important we start to assemble this team as soon as possible.”

Nigeria is the most successful U17 team in history after winning five World Cups but did not qualify for the last tournament staged in India in 2017 after they were knocked out of the African qualifying race by Niger.

•Culled from All Nigeria Soccer. Photo shows Coach Manu Garba

Source Daily Sports

Posted April 14, 2018

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