Abuja - Bala Nikyu, a former coach of the National U-13 team, on Sunday hailed the Golden Eaglets’ 3-0 victory against their Guinean counterparts in the Africa U-17 qualifying match..
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Eaglets humbled the Junior Syli Stars of Guinea on Sunday at the UJ Esuene stadium in Calabar in second round, first leg qualifying match.
The championship is scheduled for April 13, to April 27, 2013 in Morocco.
Nikyu, told NAN that the best had yet to come out of the Eaglets’ squad, adding that the continuous progression of the players had made it possible for them to shine like stars.
"I am not surprised with the performance of this squad because I know where they are coming from.
"Some of them are from the national U-13 team that won the Barclays Premier League Youth Tournament that took place in London in 2010.
"It was a development that started from the U-13 to the U-14 and from the U-14 to U-15 and now U-17.
"Many people did not believe that these players will be playing U-17 by now because they were too young then when we travelled for the U-13 London tournament in 2010.
"However, I salute their courage because with this performance it shows that when they get to U-20 they will have a lot of good things to offer to the country."
Nikyu, who helped Nasarrawa United to gain promotion to the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) in the 2011/2012 league season, said no fewer than five of the U-13 players were currently in the U-17 team.
He explained that the performance of the Eaglets was a reflection of a sound background of the grassroots football development which the present coach, Manu Garba, was part of.
"We have always succeeded at the grassroots level because we made the boys understand what they are playing for and it takes a lot of patience to do that.
"At certain point, I was relaxing coaching the U-13 because the boys know what to do whenever they have the ball.
"So, it is obvious that if you plan well with the players they will get it right."