Head coach of Nigeria U17 team, Emmanuel Amuneke, has decamped 64 players for various reasons in its ongoing two-week long screening exercise taking place in Abuja as they intensify preparations for the upcoming African U17 Championship in Niger.
In a statement to Goal, Amuneke through the media officier of the team, Morakinyo Abodunrin, said the screening which was concluded on Friday December 19 attracted over 300 players where 100 scaled through the opening exercise at the NFF/FIFA Goal Project pitch.
The former Nigerian international turned coach explained that despite the shut window on screening of fresh players, a new set of 64 were dropped, with 20 ejected for irregularities in their documentations, while 44 others were screened out for performing below par in display of their technical and tactical abilities.
Amuneke said the team will continue its intensive preparations as the coaches to reduce the numbers of a players to a manageable size.
“We don’t have time on our hand again and we have been kind enough to see what some of you can offer but today is the final day. Our philosophy is simple which hard work is and we are not going to compromise it,” Amuneke said.
“I want you to go back to your various academies and continue to work harder because there could be another opportunity if we qualify for the World Cup in Chile by the grace of God,” he continued.
“It is about time we start reminding ourselves of what we used to do and I want the new ones to pay special attention to what we are doing.
“The Under-17 national team is not a bunch of friends set up and anybody that is picked should be able to defend us very well; so serious work starts,” he concluded.
Nigeria will compete in Group A along hosts Niger, Guinea and Zambia for the football event which holds in Niamey between February 15 and March 1st. 2015.
Emmanuel Ameneke’s lads will face their northern neighbour, Niger in the championship’s opening fixture on February 15 at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché (SGSK) multi-purpose stadium in Niamey.