Charles Adah Agada, a 16-year-old Nigerian prodigy who was instrumental in the Golden Eaglets’ triumph against South Africa in their last Group B game at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, is reminding Nigerians of the former Everton hero, Daniel Owefin Amokachi.
The Super Eagles icon was renowned for his power, speed, and a bit of skill during his playing days, and this has been absent in Nigeria’s football national team of all age categories.
Similar to Agada, who excelled in his debut start for Nduka Ugbade’s team against the Amajimbos in a 3-2 win at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, he displayed excellent strength, speed, and talent.
Amokachi’s power allowed him to intimidate players throughout his 44 caps for Nigeria, and he helped his country win the AFCON in 1994 and a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996.
With his pace and ability, he also made an impression for Nigeria in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.
Daniel Amokachi recounts his footballing days.
Are we missing his strength, and speed in Nigeria’s national team today?
Perhaps, we could have found one.
— Soccernet.ng (@soccernet_ng) May 9, 2023
Agada, the Golden Eaglets’ number 11, only got a minute to play in Nigeria’s first game against Zambia and 3 minutes in Nigeria’s 1-nil defeat to Morocco, but when he began his first game of the tournament against South Africa, he wreaked havoc on Duncan Crowie’s boys’ defence.
After Vicky Mkhawana scored the first goal in the five-goal thriller, Agada equalised in the 34th minute. He also provided a superb ball to Light Eke, who hammered home an equaliser past Gennaro Johnson.
This stunning performance, however, has brought Nigerians down memory lane of what Amokachi did to defences during his time in the national team, something Nigeria has missed for many years.
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Agada’s origin, however, seems to be comparable to Victor Osimhen’s early difficult times in that his mother is an Otukpo Benue state farmer, and his father is a hunter.
“His father and mother are both hunters and farmers. They both farm and hunt in the village,” says Raymond Hassan, Chief Scout of Mavlon FC, in an interview with Soccernet.ng
“Agada is a little boy we picked from Otukpo, Benue State, and we took him to Lagos, where we put him through school [Palmvill College Lagos] and tried to develop his football skills,” Hassan said.
He added: “He is doing well in school, and when he first arrived, he couldn’t speak English very well. But he is presently doing quite well. He goes to school in Lagos, and he is in JSS 3,”
Many players fade into obscurity following their first appearance in a major event, but Hassan said that the soon-to-be 17-year-old sensation is motivated to reach high heights in football.
“He [Agada] is someone who is very determined to play football at the highest level. He is very hardworking and very disciplined
“Agada is a very strong player and Mavflon FC is training him to meet the standard of European football. he is naturally a strong player,” he added.
Football players without a dream are like to planes without pilots. When questioned about the lad’s motivation, Hassan said, “His dream is to become a professional footballer and break records at the national and global level.”
“He wants to become African player of the year someday, and he is working towards that starting from what he did on Saturday [against South Africa]”
Nduka Ugbade’s team will meet Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals of the 14th edition of the biennial international youth football event. Hassan is certain that the new Amokachi will make the nation proud on Thursday.
“He will do us proud. I am optimistic about him making Nigeria proud. He is ready,” he said.
Charles Agada has an interesting background, almost similar to Victor Osimhen just that this boy is from Otukpo, Benue state.
Meanwhile, I can confidently say that having reminded us of Daniel Amokachi, his target is making Nigeria proud. pic.twitter.com/O0R3kKMUla
— Ayomide Oguntimehin (@ayo_oguntimehin) May 9, 2023
The Golden Eaglets are on track to capture their third AFCON trophy and qualify for the U-17 World Cup later this year, and a victory against Burkina Faso will make it a reality.