Five-time world champions Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will participate in an invitational tournament in Turkey as part of its preparations for the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations scheduled for Tanzania in April.
Nigeria’s U-17 boys swept all before them at the WAFU U-17 Tournament in Niger Republic in September 2018 to pick up the trophy and also qualified as West Zone B’s flagbearers in the continental finals in Tanzania, following an adjustment to the format of the qualifiers.
Coach Manu Garba, a former Nigerian international who also led the team to global triumph in the UAE six years ago, has assured that his boys have imbibed the mentality of champions without the overconfidence that sometimes constitutes the soft underbelly of such mentality.
The invitational tournament in Turkey will hold between March 1 – 10 and will see a number of the teams qualified for the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations taking part, alongside a number of European teams.
Nigeria will play in Group A at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations alongside hosts Tanzania, Angola and Uganda. All the participating teams (except the host nation) won the championships of their respective regions to qualify. Only West Zone A, to which 2017 champions Mali belongs, produced two finalists.
Manu added: “We will prepare very well to conquer from our group in Tanzania, in order to qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup finals coming up in Peru.”
Group B has Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal, with all four semifinalists guaranteed places at the FIFA World Cup finals.
The 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations will hold on April 14 through the 28. Nigeria won the world title in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.