By: Gracious Akujobi
Celebrated former Super Eagles’ Captain, Nwankwo Kanu has advised the Golden Eaglets’ coaching crew to shore up the defence of the team ahead of the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A winner 20 years ago at the Japan 1993 edition of the global cadet competition where he emerged as one of the stars of the championship, Kanu said that coach Manu Garba-led crew must ensure that the team is built around solid defenders to have a realistic chance of emerging victorious.
Nigeria is desirous of winning a record fourth time after her previous successes in 1985, 1993 and 2007.
Kanu is of the view that the team that came second at the 10th CAN Under-17 Championship in Morocco last April needed to be tinkered in order to compete against the rest of the world in October, saying that the present Golden Eagles have already shown they have the appetite to go all the way
“There is no doubt that the team did well in Morocco but they can even be stronger at the World Cup by making sure the defence is solid too”, stated Kanu.
The 1995 UEFA Champions League trophy winner who clocks 36 on Thursday- August 1,said “ You know I’m in love with this present Golden Eaglets and I’m confident they would do very well at the World Cup in the UAE.”
He noted that a winning team must be sharp in attack and resilient in the defence:”What is needed is to have a more solid defence and they (the coaches) can build the rest of the team from there,” he added.
Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets’ assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke has joined the team in Calabar after completing his UEFA PRO License course in Spain recently.
He reaffirmed that the course has prepared him for the greater task ahead stating that the Golden Eaglets would not be going to the World Cup to make up the numbers.
“Of course, we know that it is never going to be easy to win anything not least a competition as big as the FIFA Under-17 World Cup,” stated the 1994 African Footballer of the Year.”You can see that work has already begun and it is nice to be back to join my colleagues in preparing the boys for the world cup”.