Emmanuel Amuneke, head coach of Nigeria’s under-17 male football team, on Monday said the team would depart for Niger Republic next week ahead of the 11th African U-17 Championship.
Amuneke said in Abuja that the Golden Eaglets have been making necessary preparations ahead of the championship.
“We will leave hopefully by next week, but I am not sure when exactly it will be. We are however still training and expecting to have more friendly matches before we go.
“The friendly matches will act like tests for us to enable us know our mistakes and fitness level,’’ he said.
The coach also called on Nigerians to pray for the team to be successful at the championship.
“Nigerians should just pray for us. But we will definitely do our best. We don’t want to make promises now, because we don’t know what tomorrow holds for us’’, he said.
The Eaglets have played five local friendly matches, winning four and drawing one.
The Eaglets have been drawn in Group A of the African championship alongside hosts Niger Republic, Guinea and Zambia.
Nigeria and west African neighbours Niger Republic will play the championship’s opening match on Feb. 15 at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché (SGSK).
Nigeria have emerged champions in 2001 and 2007 since the tournament’s inception in 1995.
The championship is billed for Feb. 15 to March 1.