The Golden Eaglets on Monday arrived their training camp in Sokoto en route Niamey for this weekend’s AFCON qualifier against Junior Menas of Niger.
A squad of 20 players and accompanying officials led by Coach Manu Garba, travelled from Abuja on the luxury Marcopolo Bus and were received at the Imperial Caliphate by members of the Sokoto State Football Association led by its secretary, Mallam Garba Sani at Shuni – some few kilometres to their new home at the Shukura Coral Hotel.
The players described the travelling experience from Abuja to Sokoto as very enriching, adding the camaraderie within the rank and file of the team is a good omen for the crunch match against Niger Republic.
“The trip from Abuja to Sokoto was a good experience personally for me,” stated bean –pole striker Tolu Arokodare who is attached to Box-to-Box Football Academy in Lagos. “I’ve not travelled much and this is my first real travelling outside Lagos; and it has given me an opportunity to see some interesting landmarks.”
Along the way, the Eaglets had a brief stopover at Kotorkoshi town which is very close to Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State where they savoured the enthralling ambience of the massive Dukura Rock; with midfielder Akpos Akpomedaye revelling in the joy of being in the travelling party.
“Sir, this journey has brought us closer together and it is good for our team spirit as we prepare for the match against Niger,” explained the lad sourced from Warri-based Delta Stars. “I have not travelled this far before and it is nice to see other parts of the country from Abuja to Sokoto.”
The Eaglets resumed training on Tuesday at the famous Giginya Memorial Stadium. In a related development, coach Garba has told thenff.com that only 18 players would officially be dressed for the match in Niamey: “We have 20 players on this trip and that means there is still room for competition since only 18 players will be picked for the match; and we are positive that the players with us here will make the country proud.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football has confirmed to the NFF that the match will be played at the Municipal Stadium, Niamey starting from 4pm on Saturday, 20th August 2016. The Eaglets take a 1-0 lead into the return leg encounter.