UAE 2013: I’m happy at Eaglets’ progress — Akanni




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By NAN

 Ex-international Waidi Akanni on Friday expressed satisfaction at the progress made by the U-17 at the ongoing 2013 FIFA the Arab Emirate (UAE).

Akanni, won a bronze medal with the Flying Eagles in the 1985 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Russia, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in shortly after the team humbled their Iraqi counterparts 5-0.

According to him, the team prepared adequately for the tournament.

They won their first match 6-1 against Mexico, drew their second, 3-3, against Sweden and wrapped up the group stage with a 5-0 bashing of Iraq.

“The team’ preparation has paid off, so far; I think that at this point, we should refrain from pressurising them.

“The tournament is meant for football development, which is what we should be particular about; it is either they win or lose,’’ Akanni said.

Akanni, also a Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, said every member of the squad had the potential to play in the Super Eagles squad.

“I strongly believe that every member of the U-17 squad has what it takes to proceed to the U-20 and even the Super Eagles; that’s how it should be.

“We need to ensure their progress into the next cadre; with that, our football development will be guaranteed,’’ he added.

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have won the competition a record three times — 1985, 1993 and 2007. They were runners-up in 1987, 2001 and 2009.