By Ijeoma Okigbo
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets will depart the country on Sunday for the 2023 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algeria, an official said on Saturday.
Francis Achi, the team’s Media Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja they would be leaving with the optimism of securing a FIFA World Cup qualification.
Achi said a total of 26 players would be traveling alongside the team’s backroom staff on Sunday ahead of their opening fixture against Group B opponents Zambia on April 30.
“We have been in camp for a long time now and have had lots of friendly matches during which the team have performed well.
“Everyone is very optimistic. The technical crew is impressed with the players’ performance and how they interpret the coaches’ instructions.
“Our target is to qualify for the World Cup. If we can do that and win the tournament as well, that would be great. But, for now, we will focus on the World Cup ticket,” he said.
The media officer also added that the team was in high spirits and hopeful of taking it game one at a time.
“We are going to face top opposition, especially in the group stage where we will face Morocco, South Africa and Zambia.
“But we hope to take each game as it comes, one at a time. We are not afraid of any team, we will play our game and remain mentally focused,” Achi added.
NAN reports that the two-time African champions will take on Zambia in their first game before facing Morocco on May 3 and South Africa three days later.
The four semi-finalists at the tournament will be CAF representatives at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in November.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawale Alabi