Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke has hailed the resilience of his recruits following a 2-1 win over Abuja-based College of Football on Friday.
The new Under-17 team being put together by the former African Footballer of the Year is just two-weeks old but they showed stern stuff against the well-structured famous Abuja soccer Academy.
“Frankly, the match against College of Football today, was a good test for us since we began this screening as well as other trial matches,” admitted Amuneke.
“This was a match against an opposition that is strong with good structure and quality players.
“For us, the result was not a big deal but we are happy that our players have started showing some of the things they are learning in training and this would certainly boost their confidence along the way.
“I praised them because they showed a winning mentality and their fighting attitude was equally good and that is the most important thing.
“I’m impressed not because we won 2-1 but seeing these young boys being able to express themselves even under a serious match situation is commendable,” he noted. Similarly, College of Football ‘s coach Ahmed Lawan, commended the performance of the Golden Eaglets even as he praised the coaching crew for raising a good team within a short time.
“Without any doubt, we are impressed with the Golden Eaglets because we didn’t expect them to put up such a stiff resistance,” he said.
“The match against the Golden Eaglets was about the best we have played against any team in Abuja and I personally want to commend the coaches for being able to raise a good team in a very short time.”
He equally commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for picking Amuneke as the country’s National Under-17 team coach, adding that the former International would serve as a good motivation for the youngsters.
In the match proper Saley Yahaya gave College of Football the curtain raiser as early as the second minute but Kelechi Nwakali and Dauda Abdul-Ganiyu scored two ‘text-book’ goals in 44th and 72nd minute of the highly entertaining match watched by an impressive crowd.
It was Eaglets’ first real test against a quality opposition with College of Football parading many gifted players who failed to make the cut in Nigeria’s 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup winning team.