No fewer than 3000 players from all corners of Nigeria hit the Nation’s capital, Abuja yesterday hoping to be among those that would feature for the country’s U-17 male team Golden Eaglets of another cadet World championship in 2017.
Every two years, countries from FIFA member continents jostle for places at FIFA U-17 World Cup. The battle to part at the global stage begins with continental championships.
In this part of the world, there will be African U-17 championship next year where only four top countries will pick tickets to represent the continent when next year’s World soccer event take place.
And so, Garba Manu-led crew who discovered the likes of Manchester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, Liverpool Man Taiwo Awoniyi and Musa Mohammed among others before they went ahead to win 2013 edition of U-17 male football competition are up to it again.
Though Manu failed to deliver at U-20 level after he was asked to handle Nigeria’s Flying Eagles, stakeholders who spoke Nigerian Pilot Sports yesterday are of the view that he has what it takes to pick young talents who trooped out at FIFA goal project as from Monday for screening.
Majority of the upcoming players currently undergoing screening were supplied by various football academies scattered across the country.
Ikegwuonu Ebuka Stanley who came from Imo State said it was his desire to feature for the Golden Eaglets in order to start his football career on a good note.
“I want to play for my country and I know this will be a stepping stone if I can make it,” said Stanley, a player with Owerri-based Jahrule Academy. “I’m proud of the last two teams that won the World Cup and I’m also looking forward to an opportunity to represent my country at this level.”
The ongoing screening exercise is part of the Golden Eaglets’ preparations towards qualification for the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Madagascar. The Golden Eaglets would be away to Niger on the first weekend of August 5-7 with the reverse fixture in Nigeria a fortnight later.


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