The Golden Eaglets’ coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, on Wednesday called on Nigerians not to rate the present national under-17 team with the team that won the last FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013.
Amuneke told newsmen in Abuja that a team like the one that won the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates was hard to come by.
He said: “Hopefully, we will get good players, but a lot of people will be looking at the team with the eyes of the past Golden Eaglets.
“But in football, it is not that way.
“Those kinds of players only come once and we are glad that all of them are now in under-20.
“Hopefully, the new ones that are coming up can also meet up to the task.”
The former Super Eagles’ winger added that the present Golden Eaglets are still being built.
Amuneke noted that although the team did not have a winning squad yet to present at WAFU championship coming up soon, the tournament would give the players confidence.
He said: “We are still building and the most important thing is (that) we have the opportunity to continue to build to improve and look at the areas where we can always improve (on) because I believe football is a continuous issue.
“It (the WAFU tournament) will give the boys a lot of confidence and it will expose them more.
“But if we look at it the other way that we don’t have time, it will reduce our time to do more screening and see a lot of people.
“But notwithstanding, hopefully, Togo will be a good place for us to build confidence and when we come back home, we will give other people the opportunity to express themselves.”
Amuneke said the technical crew was not yet sure of any player in any of the departments of the team as they would want to have a pool of players to select from.
He said: “By July, we will be playing the winners between Burundi and Congo.
“But right now, we are not sure of any player in any of the departments.
“We are still searching.
“You cannot build your team only on 11 players.
“So, if we can have 50 good players, it is good for us because we can always pick whoever we feel can give us something at that particular time.”
Nigeria has been pooled in Group B with Niger and Mali for the U-17 WAFU tournament scheduled for Togo from April 17 to April 29.
The Golden Eaglets will take on the winners of the first round tie between Burundi and Congo DR in their African Youths Championship qualifiers.
The first leg match is scheduled to hold between July 18 and 20, while the second leg match is between August 1 and 3.