Winning U-17 World Cup will be my greatest achievement – Eaglets Coach
There is an extra motivation for me to win this trophy and it would be my greatest honour yet because in 2007 I was an assistant when Nigeria won this trophy,” Manu said at the lobby of Abu Dhabi Hotel before heading for his last pre-match press conference at this 2013 UAE U-17 World Cup
He has already won the World Cup as an assistant coach in 2007 but the Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach, Manu Garba, said here that winning the trophy on Friday would be his greatest achievement ever.
“There is an extra motivation for me to win this trophy and it would be my greatest honour yet because in 2007 I was an assistant when Nigeria won this trophy,” Manu said at the lobby of Abu Dhabi Hotel before heading for his last pre-match press conference at this 2013 UAE U-17 World Cup.
Garba’s Golden Eaglets are hoping to become a record fourth titlist at this level following Nigeria’s previous win in 1985, 1993 and 2007.
The team ramped up fantastic results along the way to reach their sixth final, including a 6-1 defeat of defending champions, Mexico, as well as scoring a total of 23 goals, more than any team in the competition.
Going into Friday’s final against Mexico, the Golden Eaglets have played a total of 48 matches, won 43, drew four and only lost once, scoring a total of 218 goals and conceded just 53.
At the press conference proper, Garba reiterated that he would be the proudest and happiest man on earth if God can crown the efforts of almost two years with a final victory against Mexico on Friday.
He said: “This team has played the best football since we started this journey and even at this tournament because we are playing total football.
“Of course, I have won this trophy before but winning it on Friday by beating Mexico would be the best moment of my coaching career.
“None of the players that I brought here play in the Nigerian domestic league and I and the rest of the coaching crew had to groom this team from the scratch.”
He admitted that the final match would not be a one-way traffic for the team tagged ‘the Nigerian Marauders’ by Emirati newspapers, since the Mexicans would be eyeing a revenge after their last 6-1 defeat.
“Mexico would be looking for revenge but we are going to win this match because we want to set the record as the best team in the world at this level,” Manu explained. “We respect Mexico for what they have been able to do at this World Cup but our prayer is that God will crown our efforts tomorrow.”