Abuja - President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF),
Amaju Pinnick, has told the Golden Eaglets to be fearless in their quest to
conquer the continent at the 11th African Under-17 Championship which kicks-off
on Sunday in Niamey.
Nigeria's Under-17 team last won the trophy in 2007 and
nearly went all the way in Morocco the last time in 2013 only to lose to Junior
Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire via 5-4 penalty shoot-out after 1-1 draw at
In a goodwill message delivered to the team yesterday by Chairman of Chairmen, Musa
Ibrahim Gusau, on behalf of the board
and management of the NFF, Pinnick was quoted as saying that the present team
is on the threshold of history if they can conquer the continent again.
"You have a big task ahead of you because you are the
team to beat in Niger because as the
defending champions of the Under-17 World Cup, no team would take it easy with
you,” Gusau told players and officials of the team after watching their
training at the Giginya Memorial Stadium.
"The President asked me to let you know that we are
solidly behind you; and we are confident that you would do well at the
championship in Niger."
He informed that Pinnick was unavoidably absent to see the
team in Sokoto due to other engagements but has promised to be in Niamey in the
later stages of the competition.
"We believe in you and though the president cannot come
here to watch your trainings, he is confident that you would go far in Niger
and by the grace of God, he would be with you later to give his support,"
Gusau further advised the players on total commitment to the
task and also encouraged them to listen to the instructions of their coaches following
their selection after a long and difficult process.
In his response, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke thanked the NFF
under the leadership of Pinnick, saying his wards are rearing to go all the way
at Niger 2015.
"We are not going to make many promises but on behalf
of this team, Insha Allah (by the grace of God), we shall bring smiles to the
faces of Nigerians."
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