The Golden Eaglets, Nigeria’s U17 national football team, are gearing up for the Africa U17 Cup of Nations, and their coach Nduka Ugbade is aiming high.
Despite the team being the most successful cadet team in the world, with five World Cup wins to their name, Ugbade is looking to add another trophy to their collection.
“Our objective has not changed: we go hard for the World Cup ticket and then we aim for the trophy,” Ugbade told the NFF. “First target is a ticket to the World Cup finals, and then we take things from there.”
Soccernet.ng gathers that the Golden Eaglets are heading to Germany for their final training camp before the Africa U17 Cup of Nations, which will take place in Algeria between 29 April and 19 May.
The team has been working hard, with an extended training camp in Abuja earlier this year, and nine friendly matches played since resuming camp in Abuja a fortnight ago.
They have won eight of those matches, drawing one, and have scored an impressive 50 goals while conceding only 11.
Ugbade, who captained Nigeria’s U16 team to FIFA World Cup victory in China in 1985 and was part of the Super Eagles’ squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994, is confident in his squad.
“We have a tough act to follow in that Nigeria has won the World Cup five times in this category, and nothing we do will be seen as special,” he said. “However, we know that if we can win the Africa Cup, it will be a stepping stone to joining the great squads that have won the World Cup for Nigeria.”
The Golden Eaglets have a strong track record in international tournaments, having won the WAFU B U17 Championship in Cape Coast, Ghana, last summer, which made them eligible for a spot at the continental finals.
With Ugbade at the helm, the team will be hoping to add another trophy to their collection at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations, and then go on to compete for the World Cup.