Battle of Bamako: Eaglets Relocate to Abuja

23 Nov 2012

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Golden Eaglets


The Golden Eaglets will on Sunday relocate to Abuja from Calabar to fine-tune their preparation for the second leg of the 2013 African U-17 final round qualifier against Mali.

With confirmation that the match would hold on a synthetic pitch, the coaching crew sought the approval of Nigeria Football Federation to conclude the team's final preparations in Abuja.

Incidentally, the team had taken off from the NFF/FIFA Goal Project site in Abuja which has an artificial surface in February where the bulk of the team was selected from over 3,000 that took part in the screening exercise.

Coach Manu Garba (MFR) said it's imperative to expose the players to the likely condition in Bamako so that the host would not have an undue advantage over the Nigerian youngsters.

“Our training in Calabar in the last one week has been very good but we need to familiarize the players with the artificial surface ahead of the game in Bamako," Garba said.

"Playing on synthetic surface is not a new thing to most of the players and we are confident they would cope well."

In the meantime, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, NNF President, has again hailed the impact of the government and people of Cross River State towards the success of the Golden Eaglets' campaign.

“The NFF cannot be tired of singing the praises of Governor Liyel Imoke and people of Cross River State," Maigari explained." Without the support of Cross River State, it would have been hard to take the Golden Eaglets to this level and we pray all the efforts would not be in vain."

Meanwhile, coach Garba has enthused that Nigeria would be in the pot when the Confederation of African Football hold the Final draws for the 2013 Orange CAF U-17 African Championship on December 9 of at the CAF headquarters in Cairo.

The tournament will feature eight team finals with the top four teams qualifying to represent Africa at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE.

“By the grace of God, we shall be at both the African tournament and World Cup as a result we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure our qualification," Garba noted.

Tags: Sports, Nigeria, BAMAKO, EAGLETS

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