9ja FlavourGolden Eaglets

Manu Garba confident of producing more stars as Golden Eaglets coach

Following his reappointment as Golden Eaglets head coach, Manu Garba has expressed unwavering confidence in his ability to nurture young talents capable of propelling Nigeria to victory and making a name in football.

Following Nigeria’s absence from the 2023 U17 World Cup in Indonesia, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) took decisive action by disbanding the coaching crew of the Golden Eaglets under Nduka Ugbade’s leadership, subsequently reinstating Garba as the head coach.

This marks Garba’s third tenure leading the nation’s cadet team, notably securing victory in the 2013 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and serving as an assistant to coach Yemi Tella during Nigeria’s triumph in 2007 in South Korea.

Garba asserts that his astute eye for identifying emerging talents positions him as the ideal candidate. Citing past successes in nurturing players like Sunday Mba, Rabiu Ibrahim, and Kelechi Iheanacho, Garba remains steadfast in his belief that he can assemble a formidable team capable of overcoming any challenge.

The immediate task at hand for Garba is preparing the Golden Eaglets for the WAFU U17 Championship in Ghana, commencing next month. This tournament serves as a qualifier for the U17 Africa Cup of Nations, a crucial step towards securing a spot in the U17 World Cup.

“I produce the likes of Sunday Mba, Rabiu Ibrahim, King Osanga, Chrisantus Macauley was the highest goalscorer at AFCON 2007, and the World Cup in South Korea he was the top scorer, and Lukman Haruna, who played for the Super Eagles,” the former El-Kanemi star told Totori News.

“The likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Success Isaac, Musa Yahaya, Musa Muhammed, Taiwo Awoniyi, and a lot of others.”

“Despite the short period to the WAFU tournament, I am very optimistic that we will raise a good team that will qualify for the AFCON. Because that is our primary assignment for now,” Garba said.

“But most importantly, the present Golden Eaglets team that we will produce, most of them will grow not only to the U20 and the Super Eagles but they will make it in their life. This is most important.

“The under-17 is a development program, and by such we expect all the players to develop to the highest level.

“And I believe some of these players we are presenting are likely to rise to that level.

“We have a few time to scout for players. This might not be the players that will play all through the AFCON and the World Cup. As we play friendly matches, the likelihood that we will see a better player than we have in camp. We will tell such people to go and do MRI and fight for places.

“I’ve done that several times with the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi and co, who were not part of the screening, and look at what Taiwo is now playing for one of the toughest clubs, Nottingham Forest.”

Coach Garba added that he is working with the Nigeria Football Federation and other key stakeholders to get the Golden Eaglets camp open on April 17.

“I have just submitted the list of 51 players that will open the camp hopefully this Wednesday (April 17),” he continued

“I have scouted most of those players, and some lists were given to me by some stakeholders.

“But I believe the majority of the players I have scouted on my own, I have mandated them to even do MRI before they come to camp.”

As defending champions of the WAFU U17 Championship, Nigeria enters the upcoming competition with high expectations under Garba’s leadership, aiming to reclaim their status as a dominant force in youth football on the African continent.

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