The Golden Eaglets were impressive at the 2023 Under-17 AFCON, but they failed to make a mark
The Nigeria Football Federation Technical adviser Augustine Eguavoen has revealed that most of the players from the Under-17 team that participated in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations would be transferred to the Under-20 team, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nigeria was one of the best teams at the Under-17 AFCON. The coach Nduka Ugbade-led team played free-flowing football, bossing play and creating chances aplenty. However, their bane was their inability to take the chances that they created.
It eventually cost them their place in the tournament, as they lost to Burkina Faso in the quarterfinal. It was a game that they dominated and created a plethora of changes but still fell short.
NFF Technical Director Eguavoen was impressed by their performance at the tournament and he has high hopes for them.
“The boys have done tremendously well, it’s quite unfortunate that we did not get the World Cup ticket,” Eguavoen told Brila.net.
“Although, sadly, we didn’t qualify for the World Cup, these boys have a great future, in real terms. You will see that this team is very young, not just in Nigeria but across the tournament.
“They have a future, it means they have a long, bright career. In the past we used to have players in the Under-17, as of four or five years, you don’t know where they are anymore. Either they stop playing or whatever, it is not just peculiar to us alone, but it’s all over.
“I’m proud of these boys. Going forward as the technical director, after I get my technical report from Nduka. In about a week, we’d see how it goes.
“Majority of the boys in this team must form the nucleus of the next Under-20, because of the developmental programs we are trying to put together.
The Under-20 team is currently in Argentina for the World Cup, and a new set of players would have to replace them. Some Golden Eaglets may get the opportunity to form the team.