Flying Eagles’ ouster puts Eaglets’ coach, Garba under pressure


After the sudden ouster of the Under-20 team from the African qualifiers, coach of the Under-17 team, Manu Garba is now under pressure to ensure the same fate does not befall his wards.
As a result, he has intensified efforts to make the Golden Eaglets a formidable side in the quest for a ticket to the African championship.
Garba said that after his side played two friendly matches at the weekend at the NFF\FIFA Goal Project pitch in Abuja, he was not satisfied with the quality of play exhibited by the boys.
The matches were part of the team’s preparation towards next month’s CAF Under-17 qualifying matches against Niger Republic.
On Friday, the Eaglets forced visiting Welcome Time Soccer Academy FC of Kano to a 1-1 draw.
The following day, the Eaglets improved on their performance with a 4-0 win over Frimpong Academy of Minna, courtesy of a first half goal by Suleiman Muhammed while Isaq Abdulrasaq, Samuel Michael and Anselem Onyenze added other goals in the second half.
Garba praised their efforts, advising them to foster unity and team spirit within their ranks.
“There was slight improvement against Frimpong Academy compared to our performance against the team we played on Friday. We still have work to do but generally. We are going to step up our preparation (against Niger) from next week.”
He also warned impostors to steer clear of the Nigeria Under-17 camp, as he commended his wards for keeping their record intact after trial matches.
The 2013 World Cup-winning coach said his magnanimity must not be misconstrued.
This was in reaction to reports in the social media that he had extended invitations to some foreign-based Nigerian youngsters, including a certain goalkeeper, Edward Onaiwu allegedly attached to English club Charlton Athletic.
“I have not invited anybody from outside Nigeria for our screening and assessment,” Garba said. “Of course, I allowed some of the boys who came without invitation to train with us after repeated appeals by their parents and guardians about their desire to play for Nigeria. But none of them has the quality we are looking for and they are not in our plans. Henceforth, we are not going to allow any uninvited player to train with us,” he said.