The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will participate in an invitational tournament in Turkey as part of their preparations for the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for Tanzania in April, the communications department of the Nigeria Football Federation has revealed.
The invitational tournament in Turkey will hold from March 1st to 10th and will see a number of the teams who qualified for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations taking part, alongside their European counterparts.
The team’s head coach Manu Garba, a former Nigeria international, who also led the team to global triumph in the UAE six years ago, has assured that his boys have imbibed the mentality of champions without the overconfidence that sometimes constitutes the soft underbelly of such poise.
“We will prepare very well to conquer from our group in Tanzania, in order to qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup finals coming up in Peru,” Garba said.
Five-time world champions, the Golden Eaglets, swept all before them at the WAFU U-17 Tournament in Niger Republic in September 2018 to pick up the trophy and also qualified as WAFU Zone B’s flagbearers in the continental finals in Tanzania, following an adjustment to the format of the qualifiers.
The Eaglets won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
Nigeria play in Group A at the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations along with hosts Tanzania, Angola and Uganda. All the participating teams (except the host nation) won the championships of their respective regions to qualify. Only West Zone A, which also had 2017 champions Mali, produced two finalists.
Group B has Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal, with all four semi-finalists guaranteed places at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals.
The 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations will hold from 14 to 28 April 2019.