NFF may draft Garba, Ugbade back to Eaglets

After finishing fourth at the last CAF U17 tournament in Niger, Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke may not lead the team to the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile.

The Nigerian U-17’s managed to secure a spot at the next FIFA U17 World Cup, despite some lukewarm performances at the African championships, and report understands there are palpable concerns within the top hierarchy at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) whether Amuneke is the right man to lead the country to Chile.

Manu Garba

The Glass House issued a statement immediately after the Eaglets lost 0-1 to South Africa’s Amajimbos in the semifinal of the CAF U17 championship, that the technical crew of the team would remain intact for the World Cup in Chile. But report also understands that the NFF, despite issuing that statement, were unhappy that the team failed to get to the final, which killed any possibility of them winning the competition.

It is believed that the level of their disappointment was heightened when the team lost to Guinea in the losers’ final, which ended their hopes of at least being in the medal zone.

But the latest twist, suggested that the NFF may be considering drafting the duo of Manu Garba and Nduka Ugbade to help reenact the feat of 2013.

The FIFA U20 World Cup holds in the months of May and June, while the U17 World Cup doesn’t come until October, which gives about enough time for Manu and Ugbade to be drafted in. A source informs that Amuneke will most likely be retained, but he will not be in charge of the team.  “I don’t think they will fire him, but he most likely will not be in charge. They are thinking towards Manu and Ugbade but nothing is decided yet,” the source said.

“The thing is, Pinnick and this board are desperate to win something and they were terribly disappointed when the Eaglets couldn’t win the U17 championship in Niger. They believe the earlier they win something, the better for their chances of being fully accepted by Nigerians,” the source added.

It is however unclear, whether Manu Garba and Nduka Ugbade would be willing to return to the U17’s if and when the proposition is made to them.

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