Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, recently suffered a disappointing defeat to Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals of the 2023 U-17 AFCON, ending their hopes of a 13th appearance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and a third AFCON title. Despite the setback, Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo and U-17 coach Nduka Ugbade are calling for the team to be supported and encouraged.
Omeruo believes that there are many talented players on the Golden Eaglets squad who should not be abandoned after their exit from the competition. In a post on his official Instagram account, the AFCON 2013 winner wrote, “So many bright talents in this team, I just hope they are not abandoned. I hope they are encouraged in defeat as well. I know for sure a lot of them will play to their highest potential.”
Ugbade also echoed Omeruo’s sentiments, stating that the young players need support and encouragement to continue their careers. “The players are disappointed of course because they are young but we must support them because they need to continue their careers. We should work on their development because I believe that some of these players will eventually move to the senior national team,” said Ugbade.
The U-17 coach’s words indicate that there is hope for the young players, and that with proper development and support, they can go on to achieve great things in Nigerian football. Omeruo and Ugbade’s call for support for the Golden Eaglets is an important reminder that even in defeat, young athletes need encouragement and guidance to reach their full potential.