No fewer than 600 budding youngsters were screened on Monday at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project in Abuja as Golden Eaglets’ preparation towards Niger 2015 CAN Under-17 Championship begins in earnest.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke said he was impressed with the impressive turn out since it would bolster competition within the rank of the team.
Aside the youngsters who trooped in for the screening, 33 of the invited 35 players from the squad that secured the ticket for the continental cadet championship in September took part in the team’s only session on Monday.
“It is good we are starting right away and today’s session has been very good because it gave us the opportunity to see some equally young talents,” said Amuneke after the gruelling session that lasted for about five hours.
“We knew all along that it is not going to be easy but hard work doesn’t kill anybody and I’m positive that the screening would throw up some fresh talents for the team.”
On hand to monitor the exercise was Coach Siji Lagunju, the former Nigerian international, who is the chief technical officer at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). He was equally excited about the large turnout since according to him, ‘it would allow the Golden Eaglets’ coaching crew a large pool of players to cast their eyes upon.’
“We are going to give everybody equal opportunity whether old or new players since we want only the best,” noted Amuneke.
“We hope to see more players in the coming days.”
The screening exercise continues on Tuesday up to early next week when the pool of players would be pruned to a manageable size.