Garba declares Flying Eagles ready for African Youth Championship

28 players depart for Gambia on Wednesday

CHIEF Coach of the national U-20 team, Manu Garba, is optimistic that his players would excel at the African U-20 Championship slated for Senegal next month.

  Garba told The Guardian Sunday that the team’s technical crew was on course to select the best legs for the nation in the cadet championship, adding that 28 players and officials would be departing the country for Gambia on Wednesday to fine-tune preparations for the event.

  He revealed that the NFF picked the West African country for the team’s final preparations because it shares the same climatic condition with Senegal, just as he assured that the team would succeed in the absence of Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success, pointing at the performance of his boys in tune up matches to buttress his point. 

   “The Flying Eagles will depart Nigeria on Wednesday for Gambia. Based on the performance of my players in the tune up matches and Super Six Challenge, I believe the team will deliver in Senegal. I have 28 players in camp now and as I have said before, the final list of 21 players for the AYC will be released 10 days to the kick off of the championship. 

  “My players are poised to face any challenge. I don’t have any problem over the absence of Iheanacho and Success for the AYC because all the players in camp are good enough to contend with any team,” he said.

 The Guardian gathered that Garba will release the final list of players for the AYC on Thursday as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has to forward it to CAF before midnight the same day.

 The team’s 28-man provisional squad includes Belgium-based defender, Wilfred Ndidi and Dolphins’ Christian Pyagbara.

  Pyagbara joined the Flying Eagles training camp in Abuja on their return from two warm-up matches in Ghana, while the NFF is waiting on Belgian club, Genk, over the release of Ndidi for the AYC.

  In the meantime, the results of the scans on Musa Yahaya and Zaharadeen Bello are expected to be made known this week. Yahaya suffered a knee injury during the Flying Eagles’ second test match against Ghana in Tema, while Bello is nursing a swollen calf.

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