Golden Eaglets ‘ Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) and his lieutenants remain upbeat about producing a strong team ahead of the World Cup after some players were ruled out following the Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) scan conducted recently at the Abuja National Hospital.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) ordered a re-run of the MRI for players who participated at the last U-17 Cadet Championship to ascertain their status ahead of the 2013 World Cup to be held in the
UAE between October 17 and November 8-since only players between Grade 1 and 5 of the MRI scan would be eligible to participate.
The peculiar dynamics of the MRI made it imperative for the players to be subjected to a new test in view of the fact that it deals with the rate of their bone growth over the course of time.
“We are not oblivious of the challenges posed by the MRI since we started this campaign because the players are growing as it were,”said Garba.”
For instance all the players we used during the qualifiers and those who played in Morocco passed the MRI test.
“But imagine a scenario whereby a player who was on Grade 4 in April has grown to grade 6 in July but what can we do than to call on other players from our reservoir? “We are working in conjunction with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in ensuring that only eligible players will represent the country at the World Cup and by the grace of Almighty Allah, we are on the right course,” noted Manu who is observing the mandatory six-day fasting post Ramadan.
Equally, speaking against the backdrop, Emmanuel Amuneke (MON) assistant coach of the Golden Eaglets said it was unfortunate that some players who were part of the silver medal-winning team in Morocco would not be featured in the UAE .He however remains optimistic about the chances of the team despite obvious challenges, adding that all hands are on deck.
“We know that this journey was going to be full of challenges when we started,” said Amuneke, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year. “But we have been transparent enough as regards the twin issue of players’ selection and the MRI test and it is important for the public to be well educated on this matter.
“The truth is that these players have not remained the same since we picked them almost two years ago because they have been training and eating well and their growth is expected but by the grace o of God, we shall overcome the set back,” he stressed.