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As Eaglets end screening in Abuja – Coaching quartet speak

What are your overall impressions about the screening exercise? Manu: Not One hundred percent satisfied because this is just the start of a process and…

What are your overall impressions about the screening exercise?

Manu: Not One hundred percent satisfied because this is just the start of a process and not the end at all.  We are happy that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) gave us the maximum support in ensuring that we conduct the screening because it really opened our eyes to so many realities. I think we are on the right course particularly with the calibre of players we saw in the first and second batch, they are young and talented players that should be able to give whatever we desire.

Amuneke: This has been an interesting exercise because we were able to see all kinds of players; those are good and those that are not. The method we adopted allowed us to see everybody and this also give us the opportunity to also assess ourselves. It gave us the chance to select the type of players that we need in achieving our objectives. I also believe that

Ugbade: It has been a wonderful exercise and we have all worked together as a team. What we have here is collective responsibility and right from the first day, we told ourselves that we are going to give it our best shot. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us.

Amadi: I would say I’m still not satisfied with the standard exhibited by some of the goalkeepers and this has shown that we have some inherent problems in this area. But we have identified those we think would be useful   and as the goalkeepers’ trainer, it is my responsibility to push them to the standard expected. Having said that, the whole exercise has shown that many Nigerian youths have the desire to make football

Are you satisfied with the type of players selected in terms of quality and talent?

Manu: With the benefit of hindsight having being part of the 2007 U-17 World Cup winning team, I would say that we are on the right course. At this level of preparation, the quality of players that we have now is far better than what we had in 2007.  We still have to work on their abilities and as coaches here, we are going

Amuneke: Definitely, yes!

Ugbade: We have been very transparent and our motto is justice and equity. Football is all about giving people hope and we have been able to do as much as that by allowing everybody who was here to be part of the screening and that has helped us too to pick the right players. I’m very satisfied with what we have done and it is a good starting point. We hope to build on this.

Amadi: I’m happy with the overall quality of the players that we have chosen. Let us be patient and we are very hopeful about this team.

Is there future in the horizon for Nigerian football with the calibre of players you have selected?

Manu: Yes, with good preparation and necessary support from the Federation, I’m sure that the team we are going to put out would be able to represent Nigeria very well starting with our first game in the qualifiers for the African Under-17 championship against Niger in September.

Amuneke: There is a future judging by the calibre of players we have selected but we are not carried away yet. Football is full of dynamics but it is our collective responsibility as coaches of the U-17 to mould these players into something better. A lot of people talk about tactics but that it is our responsibility to be able to train these players to be able to adapt and interpret whatever we teach them in real match situations.

Ugbade: Yes, of course. We have started well and I believe our jobs would be a lot easier by the time we begin proper camping of the players. We have seen the players at very close quarters during the screening and what we have seen gives us great hope about the future.

Amadi: All said and done, I think there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. The sky definitely is the limit because this is the time of renascence and with the calibre of coaches attached to this team, we are optimistic of a brighter future.

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