Ahead of Nigeria U17’s opening Group B fixture against Zambia at the 2023 Africa U17 Cup of Nations, team captain Precious Williams addressed the media on Saturday, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and respect for their opponents.
Despite being the five-time world champions, Williams echoed the sentiments of Nduka Ugbade, stating that Nigeria should not be considered as favorites to win their group without playing a single match. “We cannot say that we are the favorites in the group because we have not yet played,” he said.
Williams, who plays for the HB Football Academy and scored twice during the WAFU-UFOA Zone B tournament in Ghana, which secured Nigeria’s qualification for the U17 AFCON, acknowledged the need to follow their coach’s instructions to have a chance of progressing to the knockout rounds. “We play to our coaches instructions, play as a team, attack as a team, defend as a team,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of respect for all the teams in their group, saying, “Every nation that is in our group we respect them. We are here to develop, to expose ourselves.”
Lastly, Williams emphasized the role of divine intervention, saying, “At the end God will grant us a victory to put smile on our nation.”
The match between Nigeria and Zambia will take place on Sunday evening at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine. As the two teams face off, it remains to be seen if Nigeria can live up to their status as one of the most successful teams in U17 World Cup history.