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Flying Eagles coach confident of success in spite of tough AYC draw


Abuja – Flying Eagles’ Head Coach Manu Garba on Sunday said he was confident his team would triumph at the 2015 African Youth Championship (AYC) in Senegal in March.
In a statement by the team’s Media Officer, Samm Audu, Garba said he was confident of success in spite of a seemingly tough first round group.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian under-20 male team were on Sunday drawn in group A alongside hosts Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Congo.
“Our group seems to be tougher than the other group which has Ghana, Mali, Zambia and South Africa, but I believe we will qualify to the semi-finals along with Cote d’Ivoire,” the coach said.
“But, this is not to say that all the eight teams are not good enough to win the competition. So, we will expect no favours from any of them.
“There will be no easy groups or matches. We therefore have to prepare very well and be motivated to achieve our targets,” he added.
The Flying Eagles class of 2015 are built around the country’s under-17 team which won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013 in the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier that year, they had lost to African U-17 champions Cote d’Ivoire at the continental championship in Morocco.
However, Garba insists they will not be seeking revenge when both teams clash again in Senegal.
“We are not driven to avenge the loss in Morocco, because this will be a different competition and we will have two different teams from the ones from last year,” he said.
“We respect Cote d’Ivoire because they have a great footballing culture, but we hope to beat any team we come up against”.
The African Youth Championship will be played from March 8 to March 22.
The Flying Eagles have won a record six AYC titles, with their last triumph being in 2011, and they finished third last year in Algeria.
NAN reports that the semi-finalists in Senegal will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand later in the year.(NAN)

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