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Eaglets Cannot Retain World Cup Without Quality Friendly Matches –Manu

Former coach of World Cup winning Nigeria Under 17 team Manu Garba has told Nigerians to forget the ream of retaining the World Under 17 trophy it won in Abu Dhabi two years ago if nothing is done to arrange quality friendly matches for the current national Under 17 team preparing to defend the title in Chile later in the year. He said his team was able to beat the world because they were armed with necessary tools to succeed.

He opined that what is currently done with the team is far from ideal and warned that it could dim Nigeria’s chances of retaining the FIFA U17 World title. “Nigeria’s ambition of retaining this trophy is in tatters as far as I can see. We should not deceive ourselves that all is well with the Eaglets because they are not in the best shape to face the rest of the world.

The earlier we begin to realize this the better for us all because the coach will be the person to bear the brunt if the team fails to meet expectation.

“We won the last edition in Dubai not because we were magicians but because we were given adequate time and support by the NFF. They made sure we camped outside the country were there was no distraction and also they arranged quality friendly matches which helped us identify the strength of players individually and collectively.

“So my advise to the NFF is to make adequate arrangements for the Eaglets so that they can have excellent tournament in Chile”. Nigeria was drawn in group A of the FIFA cadet competition alongside host Chile, Croatia and the USA in the draw ceremony last week. Garba who led Nigeria to its 4th title is convinced the level of preparation given the team will impact the team’s performance as the Country bids to achieve Brazil’s feat of of retaining the title.

-Chimaobi Uchendu

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