National U-17 women’s coach, Bala Nikyu, says his team is ready for the FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup, which kicks off on September 30 in Jordan.
The Flamingoes’ will be up against Brazil during the first match that will take place on October 1.
Nikyu, who also led the Flamingoes at the last championship in Costa Rica, where Nigeria reached the quarterfinals, admitted that the players had not reached the peak of their fitness.
He, however, said he would ensure that everything is done to improve their performance ahead of the games.
A total of 30 players, alongside technical and backroom crew, have been in camp in Abuja for the past two weeks in readiness for the championship.
The Flamingoes have won all three warm up games as they intensify preparations for the tournament and Coach Nikyu said the girls will continue to work on their weak areas.
He expressed confidence in the team’s performance, noting that “Nigeria will tackle Brazil, England and 2008 champions Korea DPR, in the group stage at the 5th FIFA U-17 women’s world cup”.
A football club in United States, Houston Dynamo, has announced the signing of Nigerian midfielder, Rasheed Olabiyi from Enyimba International Football Club of Aba for an undisclosed fee.
The central midfielder has represented Nigeria at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.
He was a member of Enyimba’s 2010 Premier League winning team and also won three FA Cups in 2009, 2013, 2014 and two Nigeria Super Cups in 2010 and 2013.
Dynamo’s Vice President/General Manager, Matt Jordan, expressed his pleasure to welcome Rasheed to Houston Dynamo, saying “he’s been training with us and has integrated well within our group. We look forward to seeing him continue to grow in our environment and contribute to the success of the team as we begin the second half of our season”.
Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, will begin camping on December 14 in preparation for the African U-17 Championship.
Players are expected in camp on the stated date to commence training for the biennial tournament which takes place in Niger from February 15 to March 1, 2015.
The U-17 national team are the defending world champions and would need a ticket to the FIFA U-17 world championship.
Nigeria have won the tournament four times followed by Brazil with three tournament wins. Nigeria have appeared in the final on seven occasions.
Nigeria holds the record for most goals scored by a team in a single tournament with 26 goals in the 2013 tournament hosted by United Arab Emirates. They are closely followed by Germany with a total of 24 goals in the 2011 tournament hosted by Mexico.
The Minister for Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, has expressed joy over the Golden Eaglets 3-0 victory over Mexico, stating that the boys were dominating and confident that they will win.
The minister said that he had advised the Golden Eaglets to put in their best and make sure the Mexicans didn’t score first.
Speaking during a telephone interview, on Channels Television Saturday breakfast show, Sunrise, Mr. Abdullahi stated that the match was a tough one but the boys knew that it was the final and were ready for it.
He explained that the boys were assembled and screened two years ago through the coaching crew.
“Their first test was African Championship U-17, after which the coaching crew had to go back to the drawing board to make the team better,” the Minister stated.
[highlight]The Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] has decided to double the winning bonus of the golden eaglets to ensure that the team beat Congo on Saturday and qualify for the FIFA U-17 world cup.[/highlight]
“Beat Congo this weekend; qualify for the FIFA U-17 World cup and get $1,000 as bonus” this is the promise of the Nigeria Football Federation to the golden eaglets
NFF’s head of competitions Sanusi Mohammed said the gesture is to motivate the boys to secure victory in their final group b encounter against Congo at the CAF U-17 championship in Morocco.
Nigeria only need a win to secure a place in the semi-final of the biennial showpiece as well as book a ticket to FIFA U-17 world cup in the U.A.E later this year.
Cote d’Ivoire leads group b with four points, followed by Nigeria with three points. Congo is on two points, while Ghana is bottom with a point.