Lagos - Junior national team coach, Manu Garba, is confident of his team’s chances in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The West Africans, who last won the trophy in 2007 in the Korea Republic and finished runners-up two years later at home, will face defending champions Mexico as well as debutantes Iraq and Sweden in Group F.
They open their campaign against Mexico on October 19 at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain, and Garba is confident that his charges can do well.
"We have won the competition three times, Mexico have won it twice, so they should be scared of us. We do not fear any opponent, but we respect them, and I think we can do well," he said.
He tipped his team to reach the finals.
"I was an assistant in 2007 to the late coach Yomi Tella when we won, and I can see that we have a very strong side again. We will be one of the contenders at the finals," he told media ahead of the tournament.
Garba, who used to be head coach of Gombe United and remains on the coaching staff of the Nigerian Premier League club, has been in charge of the Golden Eaglets since the beginning of 2011, having taken over after the side failed to qualify for the CAF African U-17 Championships in that year.
Under his guidance, the team qualified for the continental finals earlier this year, and once there they topped their group to qualify for the semi-finals. That booked their ticket to the United Arab Emirates, but they then went on to beat Tunisia in the last four before losing to Côte d’Ivoire on penalties in the final.
- CAJ News