Former Nigeria U-17 player, Shedrach Beto-Bassey is assured that the Golden Eaglets will live up to expectations when the African U-17 tournament kicks off in Niger Republic on February 15.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke’s boys will face Guinea, Zambia and hosts Niger in Group A of the competition which also serves as qualifier for the 2015 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Chile.
According to the retired right full back, the country’s representatives have an opportunity to emerge as champions going by the level of preparations of the team.
“We stand a chance of coming out between first to third because we have all it takes judging by the level of preparations the team had,” Beto-Bassey told Goal.
“Going by the abundance of talents we have in the country and the personality of coach Amuneke who knows how to get the best, we stand a chance to pick a World Cup slot too.
Nigeria face hosts Niger Republic in the opening game on Sunday and the former Nitel FC star believes, the Eaglets will not be intimidated but will get a win instead.
“Though the boys are not popular to Nigerians, they have a competent coach in Amuneke. We will defiantly silence the hosts in the first match.
“I can tell you that the hosts are not happy with the draw that pitched them with our boys because they know they are in for a serious trouble playing the Eaglets.
He added that the exploits of the 2013 set of Nigeria U-17 team would not mount pressure on the high scoring side insisting that it would instead be a blessing in disguise for the team.
“The coach must have told them this not to be carried away by the record set by the Manu Garba’s Eaglets.
“They have the whole sky to fly, so they won’t be under any pressure. I would advice the technical crew allow them enjoy the tournament.
“I believe in them and I’m optimistic they will excel. In fact, our previous achievements in the tournament would put our opponents under pressure,” he concluded.