Garba Manu, Nigeria’s U17 head coach has revealed that over 100 Nigerians of school boy age have already been penciled down for screening once the camp is open ahead of the qualifiers for the 2013 African Under-17 Youth Championship.
He says he knows Nigerians are truly yearning to see real school boys in the team hence he and his lieutenants are combing playing pitches nationwide for talented youngsters.
“The truth is that we have been working since our appointments were made public by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last year,” noted Manu, a member of the coaching crew that won the Korea 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup for Nigeria.
“I know what it entails in raising a good team and we are already working despite the fact that the contract papers are yet to be signed. I’m in contact regularly with Barrister Chris Green, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the NFF as well as with my other members of the coaching crew,” he added.
Manu further explained that he is in total support of the NFF in ensuring that the right players are selected for the team so as to cement the future of Nigerian football, adding that his desire is to raise a team that is dedicated in approach and disciplined in outlook.
“We have over 100 players for screening and these are players basically from soccer academies scattered all over the country and we are going to carefully select players that of the required age for the new Golden Eaglets,” emphasized Manu.
“The truth is that players eventually selected to represent the country at the Under-17 level would be subjected to the MRI test so as to determine their true ages.
“We are conscious of the fact that we need to select talented youngsters for this assignment and we are not going to deviate from doing the right thing. We are going to give the assignment our best shot and what we demand is support and cooperation of Nigerians,” he noted.