Determined to overcome any obstacles to secure a ticket to 2013 African Under-17 Championship, the Golden Eaglets had their first training session under the searing 35 degree centigrade Bamako sun at the Stade Quezzin Coulibalily -named after the foremost Malian monarch.
This team has gone through so much on this road to Morocco 2013 including playing less in 41 degrees in the 4-1 victory over Niger in Niamey in September.
“We know the challenges before us and by the grace of God, we shall overcome Mali on Sunday,” defender Wilfred Ndidi who has played every minute of the Eaglets’ last five matches stated.
“The weather in Bamako is hot but it can’t be compared with what we had in Niger (Niamey).”
The Golden Eaglets’ training today took place at a makeshift ground with a well-maintained pitch, pending the release of the team’s official itinerary by the Malian Football Federation.
Manu Garba (MFR), Head coach of the Golden Eaglets reckons that the players must take benefits of being here on time and focus on the job at hand.
“Whatever we are going through now cannot be compared with our collective efforts over the last months as such we must be extra focussed now,” Garba told his ever ready young guns.
“The game against Mali on Sunday is our biggest match and we are confident that you would give it your best shot.”
Coach Siji Lagunju, Chief Technical Officer of the NFF, who witnessed the training session, said he was impressed with the overall fitness of the players, adding that their movement on the ball was excellent.
“I’m impressed with the physical condition of the players and their fitness level because all of them were able to go through all the various stages of the training session which is a good omen as we build up to the game on Sunday,” noted the former Nigerian international.