This Day (Lagos)

30 November 2012

Nigeria/Mali: Stade Mamadou Konate to Host Eaglets, Mali

In line with the rule guiding association football, the Golden Eaglets on Friday had a first feel of the synthentic pitch of Stade Mamadou Konate in the Kouluba district of Bamako.

The stadium which is named after the country's first Deputy President post colonial rule overlooks the Kouluba Hill Presidential lodge and will be venue of Sunday's 2013 African Under-17 all-important qualifier between the Golden Eaglets and Junior Eagles of Mali.

Friday's training was held at around noon when the searing Bamako sun is at its peak, the team's mandatory second trainning on an artificial surface ahead of the game will be held on Saturday.

The stadium which was refurbished by FIFA in 2002 is the country's Goal Project site and its director. Monsieur I. Konate said it serves as an alternative when the traditional 26 March Stadium is not available.

Assistant coach Nduka Ugbade said the texture of the pitch would not affect the tactical play of the team, adding that the players would cope well.

"The pitch is okay and it is not as heavy if compared with the synthetic pitch in Abuja and as such, it would suit us well," noted the first Golden Eaglets' captain.

"Of course, the pitch is hot as expected of any synthetic pitch but we know exactly what we are going to do on Sunday."

Ahead of this game, the NFF provided the 18 players with Adidas special designed boots for synthetic pitches and they used it to train before departing Abuja for Bamako.

Ibrahim Alhassan, star midfielder, said he and his teammates are rearing to go.

"The pitch is okay and we are here with boots that will help us cope with the weather condition.

"Heat doesn't kill and we shall do our best on Sunday to ensure that we qualify for the African Championship," he added.

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