The Golden Eaglets were formally welcomed back home to Calabar by the government and people of Cross River State on Friday.
Messages of goodwill from the Executive Governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke who is presently holidaying in the USA as well as that of Acting Governor, Efiok Cobham, were delivered to the team by Hon. Patrick Ugbe, the state's Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development.
The National Under-17 team who returned this week to their camp base in Calabar to prepare ahead of the 10th African Cadet Championship to be hosted by Morocco in April, have been enjoined to concentrate fully on the task at hand in order to give Nigerians something to cheer about as the country celebrate the Centenary anniversary of its amalgamation.
Ugbe quoted the Excellencies as saying that they expect the Golden Eaglets to go all the way and bring the trophy home for the first time since 2007, adding that the success of the Super Eagles at the 2013 AFCON has justified the huge support of the state to the national teams.
“We are very happy to have you back in Calabar and I’m happier to convey to you the best wishes of Senator Imoke and Barrister Cobham," Ugbe told players and officials at their Princeville Hotel Camp shortly after breakfast.
"We have so much faith in you and Nigerian football in general; and that is why we have spared nothing towards your welfare and that of the Super Eagles since you started camping in Calabar."
He further implored the Golden Eaglets to draw inspiration from the Super Eagles' impressive performance at 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), saying both teams are now on the threshold of history.
“We are expecting the Super Eagles as well as you to bring the African trophies here to Calabar for huge celebration," said Ugbe, a seasoned broadcaster before his foray into public service, even as he prayed for quick recovery of Eaglets' duo of Adamu Abubakar and Friday Njengo who were involved in an auto-crash last Sunday on their way to Calabar.
Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets have intensified prayers for the recuperating duo of Abubakar and Njengo as well as success of the Super Eagles as they square up against Burkina Faso on Sunday in the Final Match of the 2013 AFCON.