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Ugbade happy with squad as Golden Eaglets depart for WAFU U-17 tourney

GOLDEN Eaglets head coach Nduka Ugbade has expressed confidence in his squad as they prepare to head off to Ghana for the WAFU U-17 Championship.

The tournament will be held at the Cape Coast Stadium from June 11 to June 24, with Nigeria one of seven teams participating.

The tournament will kick off on Saturday when the Golden Eaglets face hosts Ghana, and Ugbade says his wards are raring to go.

Ugbade, who has been screening and training the youngsters at the FIFA Goal Project, Abuja for weeks, says his main aim is to earn a ticket to the U-17 AFCON in Algeria, for which the best two teams at the WAFU tournament will qualify.

He has has selected 20 players for the competition, with five more on standby.

“I am happy with the squad that we have been able to come up with, and I can say confidently that we are going to Ghana to do the nation proud,” said the former Super Eagles defender, who captained the Eaglets to the first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup title in China in 1985.

“Our primary objective is to earn a ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations, and then we go full throttle for the trophy. Nigeria have a pedigree in U-17 football and we cannot afford to disappoint.”

The Africa U-17 Cup of Nations is billed for Algeria early next year, from where all four semi-finalists will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

After battling Ghana on Saturday, five-time world champions Nigeria will face Togo next Tuesday in their second Group A fixture.



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