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Amaju Pinnick,

World Cup Camp: Flying Eagles Train In Souvenir T-Shirts

Oladipo Okubanjo

Nigeria’s junior national soccer team, the Flying Eagles have resorted to wearing Nike souvenir T-shirts and knee-length shorts during training sessions at their World Cup build-up camp in Nuremberg, Germany, pending the arrival of the real training kits.

The Flying Eagles had arrived Nuremberg last Sunday without training kits, a development that threw both players and officials into a panic situation.

The lack of training kits, The UNION learnt, was due to the inability of new kit sponsor, Nike, to avail the Nigeria Football Federation   (NFF) with supplies ahead of Flying Eagles’ trip to Germany.

The NFF, it will be recalled, had last month signed a N750 million three-and-a-half year kits sponsorship contract with the American sportswear and equipment manufacturers.

Apparently in a bid to lift gloom that pervaded the atmosphere at the Flying Eagles camp due to the lack of training kits, NFF officials in Nuremberg, it was gathered, prevailed on the players to train with the Nike souvenir T-shirts and knee-length shorts given to them before their departure from Lagos.

According to a statement published on the website of the federacriticised tion, “The team trained for about two hours with all squad players fully involved in the session at the training ground, which is a stone throw from their Novina Hotel.

“After some ball work and the usual stretching and warming up exercises, the squad were split into two teams for a two-sided game played in one half of the pitch.”

Coach Manu Garba was said to have re-emphasised the need for the players to be fully concentrated on the Under-20 World Cup billed to start May 30 in New Zealand.

“While we are here, we will only think football, dream football and eat football because we want to make history by becoming the first Nigerian team to win the U20 World Cup in New Zealand,” Garba told the players.

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