U-17 Screening: The search for Nigeria's future football stars has begun

Former Nigerian U-17 star, Kelechi Iheanacho (Photo: Getty)
Nigeria’s 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning coach Manu Garba (OON) will on Monday begin full screening of new players at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project in Abuja, as he prepare to put together another world–conquering squad that will start with qualification for next year’s Africa U-17 Cup of Nations to be hosted in Madagascar.

The Golden Eaglets’ are the current world champions after a team led by Emmanuel Amuneke (MFR) won a record fifth title for the country in Chile last year, and Garba noted all hands must now be on deck with the team’s qualifier against neighbouring Niger fast approaching. Garba told thenff.com that the open screening would last for three weeks starting with a list of 40 invited players scouted across the country, even as he called on ambitious and confident players within the stipulated age bracket to avail themselves of the opportunity.

“We don’t have much time to waste and we are going to use just three weeks for open screening in order to have a close look at the 40 invited players,” stated Garba.”It will also be an opportunity for us to see others since many uninvited players may also turn up, based on our previous experience.”

Meanwhile, officials have warned that players coming for the screening exercise would as a matter of fact, take care of their personal welfare in terms of accommodation and feeding. They are advised to turn up with their playing kits as well as official documents to proof they are within the stipulated age bracket for the competition.

The Golden Eaglets would be away to Niger Republic on the first weekend of August, with the reverse fixture a fortnight later. The final tournament of the U-17 AFCON will be held from 2nd– 16th April 2017 in Madagascar.
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