The Dinat Resort Hotel provided a perfect melting point for Golden Eaglets’ Habib Makanjuola to reunite with his Chelsea’s teammates who are with Sweden at this 2013 UAE FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Sweden, Golden Eaglets’ First Round opponents are in this tournament for the first time and in their tow is Isak Ssewankambo -a ball-winning central midfielder at Chelsea.
Also on their list is another Chelsea-bound defender, Ali Suljic – currently with Motala AIF, who plays in the Ostergotland regional league in the Swedish third division.
It was a case of familiar foes when the trio met in a fleeting moment at the Dinat Resort Hotel lobby to exchange greetings and banters ahead of their crucial First Round game in Al-Ain on October 22.
“It was great meeting them here,” Makanjuola said afterwards. “Coming for this tournament is good for our progress since it offers us the chance to show what we can do.”
Makanjuola described both players as very good but he has no doubt in his mind about the chances of the Golden Eaglets against Sweden after their scheduled first match of the tournament.
While Nigeria tackle Mexico on Saturday, Sweden will take on fellow debutante, Iraq in the
second game of Group F.
“For now, the focus is on our first match against Mexico on Saturday,” Makanjuola said after Tuesday’s training on Pitch 3 at Al-Ain FC.
“There after, we can look at Sweden and of course, we must be ready to beat any team if we are going to go far in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Coach Manu Garba (MFR) has described the team’s first training session in Al-Ain as satisfactory and exciting.
“We are now in competition period and all our focus should be on our first match against Mexico,” Garba told the players. “We just need to train well, rest well and play all our matches very well in order to succeed at this tournament.”
The Golden Eaglets will continue their build up against Mexico with training at Al-Ain University on Thursday at 7:30pm local time- after Coach Garba must have done with the mandatory’s face-to-face media session ahead of Saturday’s opener.