This Day (Lagos)

20 September 2012

Nigeria: U17 World Cup - Ugbe, Ugbade Tip Golden Eaglets

The Golden Eaglets have no choice than to qualify for the African Under-17 African Youth Championship in Morocco en route to the 2013 World Cup in the UAE.

Golden Eaglets' Assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade and Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the Cross River State commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, said as much on Good Morning Cross River TV show on Cross River Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday.

The Golden Eaglets have failed to qualify for the last two editions of the African biennial tournament but Ugbade and Ugbe believed that the current squad would cross the Rubicon.

"I've seen these boys closely during their training sessions and I'm very impressed with the quality in the team," said Ugbe, calling on soccer fans to troop to the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar for the team's African qualifier game against Junior Menas of Niger on Saturday.

Speaking in the same vein, Ugbade said there are reasons to be optimistic about the chances of these Golden Eaglets following recent failures.

"We are condemned to qualify for both African tournament and the World Cup and I believe we are on the right course," said Ugbade, the first captain of the national cadet's team.

"This is the team that plays with information and not formation; and we are happy that the boys are responding well."

Meanwhile, striker, Chidera Ezeh has confidentially enthused that he would get among the goals if fielded against Junior Menas of Niger on Saturday.

Chidera, one of the graduates from the national Under-15 team, has responded with aplomb with a rich vein of form.

He cracked home the team's first ever hat trick when he came in as second half substitute in a recent international friendly against Junior Wasps of Rwanda and increased his tally to four with a beautiful solitary strike in the 4-1 win over Niger penultimate Saturday.

Yet the lad has set fresh target, saying he relishes the opportunity of playing for Nigeria at this level.

"I think all goals I have scored are important but I'll pick the goal I scored against Niger in Niamey as the best yet because it was in a competitive match," said the Senior Secondary School 2 student.

"I've been lucky to be here and I want to make good use of every opportunity given to me."

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