WorldStage Newsonline-- The Golden Eaglets will on Wednesday’s evening play against Diamond Stars Academy in their first training match since returning to camp in Calabar ahead of the 2013 CAF Under-17 qualifier against Niger in September.
Coach Garba Manu, the National Under-17 Head Coach, said that the players were obviously responding well to training and would need to be exposed to the rigours of match situations in the coming days.
“The first week here had been action-packed and it afforded the coaching crew the opportunity to ascertain the fitness of the players," Manu said, brimming with an air of optimism.
"We are encouraged with what we have seen particularly with the fine form displayed by some new faces in the team.
“Now, we have to see how they respond under match situations. But so far, so good, as we are on course with our programme and we are watching them closely," Manu noted.
The Eaglets would engage Diamond Stars Academy at the famous Saint Patrick College (SPC) in Ikot Ansa within the Calabar Municipality where they incidentally, rounded off their last closed-phased camping in June with an emphatic 3-0 thrashing of Under-19 Tempbol Soccer Academy.
Coach Manu explained that he was not unmindful of the fact that the players needed more quality matches probably against Nigerian Premier League clubs as recently advocated by the 1993 Golden Eaglets 1993 FIFA Under-17 World Cup-winning coach, Mr. Fanny Amun (MON).
Manu, the assistant coach to the 2007 Nigeria’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup-winning team said, “Of course, we are very hopeful of playing some top clubs before our qualifier against Niger in September because we need to expose the players to all sorts of conditions in view of the unfamiliar terrain of African football.
“But everything cannot happen in a day. Already, there is a process and programme in place and we are taking things one step after another.”