This Day (Lagos)

2 December 2012

Nigeria: Eaglets Certified Okay for Bamako Battle

All the 18 Golden Eaglets have been given the clean bill of health and are now ready for the battle of Bamako.

The Nigerian teen terrors have been training under intense weather condition with temperature rising a times to 36 degree centigrade both in Abuja and Bamako but their response has been extraordinary.

Team Doctor, Dr. Ayodeji Olarinoye, said that there are no injury worries after a routine check on the players, adding that the 18 lads are in good condition of health

"The players are all match-prepared for the sunny and dry weather here (Bamako)," Olarinoye said.

In a related development, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Director Technical at the NFF, who is unavoidably absent in Bamako, has charged the players to be extra focussed since they would have to contend with harsh weather conditions.

"You are now at the verge of qualifying for the CAF Under-17 Championship and nothing should distract you now," Ikpeme, a trained psychologist told Captain Musa Mohammed and Vice-captain Wilfred Ndidi in a telephone conversation.

"More than ever, I want you to be focussed about this match and tell your teammates to consider the match against Mali on Sunday as the greatest match because a win would see you playing at the African Championship for the first time."

Ikpeme, who has overseen the team through its formative stages, also spoke to all officials of the team asking them to gird the players for the task ahead.

Similarly, Etubom Paul Bassey, frontline journalist and a Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Coordinator and former national captain and coach, Christian Chukwu amongst others, have sent a message of goodwill to the team.

The Golden Eaglets have missed qualification for the last two editions of the continental cadet competition but this present team is desirous in writing their names in gold.

"We count on God and prayers of Nigerians so that we can qualify for the tournament in Morocco," Captain Mohammed said." We would play on Sunday against Mali like warriors and we have absolute confident in Almighty Allah to help us secure victory."

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