Players of the U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, competing in the ongoing African Nations Cup for this cadre, have been urged to go all out and secure a ticket for Nigeria in the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup finals billed to take place in Brazil later this year.
Zenith Bank plc, partners of the Nigeria Football Federation, gave this charge on Tuesday, urging the team to record a resounding victory over Angola on Wednesday.
It is of note that Zenith Bank is the sole sponsor of the NFF future Eagles project where U-13 and U-15 players compete for honours over the years.
As the Eaglets take on Angola in their second Group A match on Wednesday, a win will be enough to guarantee Nigeria a place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals taking place in Brazil.
According to an official of the NFF close to the team, the sponsors, Zenith Bank, are so excited that some of their products in the Future Eagles Project have graduated into the current national U-17 team.
About seven of the players featured in the Zenith’s youth developmental competition and the bank is banking on them to go all the way and excel.
The NFF official said: “The officials of Zenith are so happy that some of the players who were in the Future Eagles project are currently in Tanzania in the colours of Nigeria.
“This is not a small feat and it is understandable that the bank chieftains are happy that their investment is really worth the while in the country’s football development.
“The NFF has about 11 national teams to take care of and it is wonderful that sponsors like Zenith Bank are assisting to reduce the burden of the federation.”
The Eaglets under the tutelage of Coach Manu Garba defeated host Tanzania 5-4 in a highly entertaining opener on Sunday.
It will be recalled that the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, and board member, Aisha Falode, late last year lead the U-17 team and officials to the headquarters of the bank in c on a courtesy visit.
“We are so grateful to the management of Zenith Bank for helping us with the Future Eagles project which has taken some burden off our shoulders. The competition involved young boys from all parts of the country. They played at state and zonal level under the supervision of my vice, Barrister Akinwunmi, who monitors their progress from one stage to the other,” NFF president, Pinnick, said.