The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup champions, Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, are on the march again as the screening of new players that would defend the title won last year in the United Arab Emirate begins in Abuja today.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has finalised arrangement for the smooth take-off of the usual grueling exercise at the practice pitch of the NFF/FIFA Goal Project Site.
Team administrator, Tayo Egbaiyelo, informed that players would be called up in batches in order to create an enabling environment for the coaching crew to pick the budding talents.
Speaking ahead of the exercise, Golden Eaglets’ head coach Emmanuel Amuneke said he has combed the nooks and crannies of the country in the last one month to fish out some raw talents.
The first batch of 35 players was due in camp yesterday in order to commence the screening today. More than 4000 players took part in a similar exercise before the 2013 World Cup-winning team was assembled by coach Manu Garba who was incidentally assisted by Amuneke.
The NFF recently promoted Garba and Nduka Ugbade to the U-20 team, leaving behind the duo of Amuneke and Emeka Amadi (goalkeepers’ trainer) to tinker with the U-17s.
The 2015 CAN U-17 Championship will be held in Niger. Golden Eaglets are already drawn bye into the second round of the cadet championship by CAF and would meet the winner of the first round tie between Burundi and Congo DR with the first leg scheduled for July 18 – 20, while the reverse fixture will be held between August 1 and 3.