The under-17 national team, Golden Eaglets’ camp will officially open in Abuja on Thursday with 40 players expected as pioneer invitees for the new look cadet squad.
The expected first batch of 2018 Eaglets’ players were those scouted variously by the team’s coaches, led by Manu Garba.
The UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning coach will be assisted by ex-international defender and captain of the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Cup-winning Eaglets, Nduka Ugbade.
It was the same Garba-Ugbade partnership that saw the country win a fourth U17 World Cup five years ago in United Arab Emirates, with Kelechi Iheanacho as the squad’s stand out player.
The newest Nigerian cadet team are billed for a tough qualifying tournament, which will for the first time be played on a zonal basis.
Nigeria’s arch-rivals Ghana are part of the zone confronting the Eaglets, with the winners only advancing to the continental tournament next year.