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Amuneke in Delta for new players, laments effects of age cheats

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DETERMINED to raise a formidable team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup billed for Chile later this year, Golden Eaglets handler, Emmanuel Amuneke, says he will continue to look for good players from across the country.

Amuneke told The Guardian Monday that the team’s technical crew would be travelling to Asaba today to screen players for his team, adding that he just finished a similar exercise in Ibadan. 

The former Super Eagles winger explained that he was taking the pain to go through the exercise to give more talented young Nigerians the chance to play for the Eaglets, lamenting that he has had a hard time in getting quality players for his team. 

The former Barcelona star, who is optimistic that Nigeria will retain the U-17 World Cup it won in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) two years ago, said his target is also to churn out credible players that would graduate to the Super Eagles in the future. 

 “My focus now is to tour all the regions in the country to source for quality players that will be invited to the Golden Eaglets. Putting my team in the right shape for the World Cup needs full concentration and hard work.

“It is not easy to get players at the cadet level these days because of age cheats and greed. Some of these young talented players, who think they are ripe to play for big teams in Europe, are sponsored by their parents or agents to Europe with wrong identities. After failing over there, they come to the Eaglets for screening. As a coach you will discover they are talented players, but on investigation you will discover that these players left the country with different passports.

 “This is the problem I face. But notwithstanding that, I will work hard to get a solid team for the Golden Eaglets,” he added.

Amuneke also praised the Flying Eagles for defeating Senegal on Sunday in the opening game of the African U-20 Championship, saying the Coach Manu Garba led technical crew can excel in the championship if the team doesn’t look down on their opponents.



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