All things being equal, the national under 17, the Golden Eaglets, will open the African Youth Championship (AYC) on Sunday in far away Dar es Salam against the host, Tanzania, incidentally being coached by former Nigerian international and 1994 African Football of the Year, Emmanuel Amuneke.
After a hiatus, the five-time winner of global cadet competition are returning to the continent and hopefully should pick one of the four tickets available to represent Africa at the U-17 World Cup in Brazil later in the year. The ticket to the U-17 AYC and the World Cup with due respect to others should be Nigeria’s birthright going by the team’s pedigree in cadet competitions.
However, lessons must have been learnt for missing out the last time and this is the time for experienced youth football coach, Manu Garba, to prove his mettle again with the future Eagles. I trust in the ability of Garba’s backroom staff of which one of them, Bunmi Blair is my good friend and brother.
What the Eagles needed is to win two games and fly to Brazil but I advise that they take each game at a time and should not underrate or look down on any of their group A opponents – Tanzania, Uganda and Angola. The Golden Eaglets secured their ticket to Tanzania after winning the WAFU B U-17 Tournament in Niger Republic in September last year.