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The Nigerian U-20 national team, the Flying Eagles, is set to meet Tanzania in an African Youth Championship qualifier. The first leg comes up July 28 in Dar es Salam. Many pundits are of the opinion that the team is not ready.
In fact, very few people will disagree that this is probably the worst team that coach John Obuh has put together since he started handling the country’s age grade teams.
This scenario stems from the bad results the team has continued to attract from when they were invited to participate in a four nation tourney in South Africa, a couple of months ago, to the present.
Based on these lackluster performances, the Nigeria Football Federation leadership recently asked the coaching crew to sit up or face the wrath of the over 160 million Nigerians.
Reacting to the team’s poor performance at the Cape Town International Challenge, in the month of May, the president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Aminu Maigari, said that, “we are really disturbed. The NFF is not encouraged by your performance in South Africa and you have to work hard and be committed to a much better output in the qualifying series for the 2013 African Youth Championship, which starts this month.”
From the look of things, the team will need a miracle to survive the onslaught of Tanzania over the two legs. The team that Obuh and his crew have assembled is colourless and wingless. The team lacks depth, quality and rich bench. They have struggled to beat all sorts of average teams before honouring the Cape Town Challenge.
Indeed, a few of the teams they have played against have paraded players far superior to them but to the utmost chagrin of fans, the press and stakeholders, who thronged to watch them play, most of the players are never invited to fight for shirts in the team, leading to insinuations that the coach’s hands are tied and that most of the players he has invited to camp would not ordinarily make the team but are there because of pressure from politicians and sports administrators.
Maigari had told the coaching crew in a meeting that they should shun acts of pursuance of personal interests and face squarely the job of raising a formidable squad that will do Nigeria proud after sensing the danger of putting personal interests above national interest. “Cases of dogged pursuit of personal interests and abuse have severally come out of your camp, and we are not happy about this.
Here at the NFF, our job, our commitment and our task is always to raise teams that will make the over 160 million Nigerians happy with good performance on the field of play. You are the champions of Africa and yet, you went to South Africa and lost all three group stage matches.
READ ON... http://www.leadership.ng/nga/articles/2 ... t_fly.html
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