Cadet national team, Golden Eaglets’ assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade has affirmed that the outcome of Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) scans conducted on the players last week will determine the squad’s real structure for the upcoming African U-17 Nations Cup zonal qualifiers in Niger Republic.
With the scans’ results being expected on Monday, Ugbade admitted that the coaches and all their players are anxious over the outcome, as the final list of 20 players would then emerge for the trip to Niger Republic.
Though Ugbade, who captained the pioneer Eaglets’ squad that won the maiden FIFA U-16 World Cup at China ‘85, acknowledged that some players currently in camp would be dropped if they fail the mandatory MRI scans, he believes they would still have a squad good enough to stand the test of time.
The ex-international defender, who was part of the Flying Eagles’ squad that got silver at Saudi ’89 World Youth Championship and the Super Eagles that won Tunisia ‘94 Africa Cup of Nations, said team building will commence after the results emerge on Monday.
This is coming ahead of the Eaglets’ matches against Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin Republic in the zonal qualifiers next month.
Any player who is deemed ineligible by the MRI scan results will be ejected from the team less than three weeks to their opening match on September 3 against Burkina Faso.
The scans were conducted on 40 players, and the head coach, Manu Garba is expected to name his final squad for the zonal qualifiers from the successful ones, with only 20 bound for the qualifiers, which kick off on September 2.