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Poor preparation is rubbing off on Eaglets at WAFU U-17 tournament, says Nwosu

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Former international, Henry Nwosu, has put the blame of Golden Eaglets’ not too impressive performance at the ongoing WAFU U-17 Cup of Nations in Kegue, Togo, on shoddy preparation. He said this has characterised national teams preparations for any major tournament over the years.

The Eaglets’ hope of qualifying for the next round of the cadet championship in Togo now depends on Cote d’Ivoire beating Ghana in the last Group B game for Nigeria to stand a chance of any qualification. The Ivoiriens had earlier beaten the Nigerians 1-0 in the first match, while the Eaglets were forced to a 1-1 draw in their second match against the Ghanaian Starlets.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, the former coach of the Golden Eaglets said that despite the restriction by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic, that the boys should have been allowed to be in camp with the PTF’s protocols observed to put the boys in proper shape for the competition, which date had already been fixed.

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“Like I always say, our main problem in this country has been ill preparation when it comes to getting ready for any major competition. The truth is that we don’t prepare well enough and we expect to get what we don’t deserve and this is really affecting many Nigerians emotionally.

“I don’t see any reason we cannot call these boys to camp for them to train together and get used to one another since we knew that the date of the competition had been fixed. All what we needed to have done was to call these boys to camp and let them have the kind of training deserving of a team preparing for a major competition with all protocols on COVID-19 duly observed.

“They might not be playing full 11-aside game, it could even be a seven-aside warm up training that could also include joggling with the ball and all that just to make sure that they are in top shape,” he said, adding that the same ill-preparation has been the bane of the country’s football, hence, the national teams don’t do well.

“Unfortunately, we don’t prepare our teams well for major championships and this is the same problem everyone has been complaining about our national teams for years now. The same problem is what the Eaglets are having now in Togo; struggling to beat countries at the cadet championship that we once dominated. This is sad for our football development,” he stated.

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