By Albert Akota
After a massive turnout by budding youngsters at the camp of the Golden Eaglets for the open screening, a hundred players have been identified as potential players by the technical crew of the national U-17 led by Emmanuel Amuneke.
An average of 300 players were screened daily and national team handlers have been able to separate the grain from the chaff from what is just the first stage of a tedious process for a place in the squad.
“We thank everyone that had come and the one-week open screening has reinforced our belief that there is abundance of talents in Nigeria,” Amuneke said.
It was gathered that this is only the first stage of the exercise which is squarely based on the innate quality of the players as well as right disposition during the screening .Officials informed that the players so selected would be further scrutinized to authenticate their document before undergoing the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Test.
“The whole idea of this screening is to have a pool of players that can be good additional to the squad even after the African Championship in Niger,” reasoned Amuneke.
“This team is work in progress and by the grace of God, we shall pack the plane successfully after Chile in 2015.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets would continue their build up towards the continental cadet championship at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project in Abuja today.
According to the team’s administrator, Tayo Egbaiyelo, the team would only break from their routine training session on designated public holidays during the festive period in view of the short time before Niger 2015 slated for February 15 to March 1st.
Incidentally, draws for the competition would be held at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday with the eight qualifiers including defending champions, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger (hosts), Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria drawn into two halves of four teams each.