U-17 Qualifier-Garba denies invitation of foreign players

Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach, Manu Garba (OON), has for the umpteenth time warned impostors to steer clear of the Nigeria U-17 camp, even as he commended his wards for keeping their record intact after five trial matches.

The 2013 World Cup-winning coach said his magnanimity must not be misconstrued following spurious reports in the social media that he has extended invitations to some foreign-based Nigerian youngsters, including a certain goalkeeper Edward Onaiwu allegedly attached to English club Charlton Athletic.

“I have not invited anybody from outside Nigeria for our screening and assessment,” Garba told thenff.com. “Of course, I allowed some of the boys who came without invitation to train with us after repeated appeals by their parents and guardians about their desire to play for Nigeria. But none of them has the quality we are looking for and they are not in our plans and henceforth, we are not going to allow any uninvited players to train with us,” he affirmed.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets over the weekend played two friendly matches at the NFF\FIFA Goal Project pitch in Abuja as part of their preparations towards next month’s CAF U-17 qualifying matches against Niger Republic.

On Friday, the Eaglets forced visiting Welcome Time Soccer Academy (WTSA) FC of Kano to a 1-1 draw when Usman Musa (Babalolo) came from the bench in the second half to cancel WTSA’s Umar Yusif curtain raiser of the lively two-hour encounter.

On Saturday, the Golden Eaglets improved on their performance with a 4-0 win over Frimpong Academy of Minna courtesy of a first half goal by Suleiman Muhammed while Isaq Abdulrasaq, Samuel Michael and Anselem Onyenze added other goals in the second half.

Speaking to the youngsters afterwards, Garba praised their efforts, advising them to foster unity and team spirit within their ranks: “There is slight improvement today against Frimpong Academy compared to our performance against the team we played on Friday. We still have work to do but generally, there is improvement and God’s willing, we are going to step up our preparation (against Niger) from next week and we want you to build good relationship amongst yourselves.