Nigeria’s young and vibrant squad is thinking of little else apart from qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, so says stand-in Captain Eddy Ogenyi Onazi.
The petite but lion –hearted midfielder spoke on Sunday during a meeting of the Super Eagles with NFF President Amaju Pinnick, at the team’s Crowne Plaza London Ealing hotel.
“I am always delighted anytime I look at the faces of everyone in camp. The determination is real and infectious. It is a young and focused group; we all want to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and the next Africa Cup of Nations.
“We are happy that the NFF President is here and spoken very well, and we want to assure Nigerians that we will keep up the momentum in the World Cup qualifying race and at the same time go all out for the Cup of Nations ticket.”
Onazi, who plays for Trabzonspor FC of Turkey, added that the friendly against Senegal’s Teranga Lions on Thursday was an excellent preparation for the Super Eagles’ very crucial five competitive matches later this year.
Nigeria host South Africa in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in June, before quick, home-and-away 2018 FIFA World Cup sessions against Cameroon late August and early September, and concluding World Cup qualifiers against Zambia (at home in October) and Algeria (away in November).
Earlier, Pinnick appreciated the players and officials for their sense of duty and commitment to the cause, while assuring that the Federation will work assiduously hard to see that their outstanding entitlements are offset soonest.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports and Youth Development, Senator Obinna Ogba also assured the group of the Nigeria government’s appreciation of their toil, and charged them to go ahead and earn the tickets to the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.
On Saturday night, youthful Chelsea FC and England U20 defender Ola Aina arrived at the Super Eagles’ camp, joined soon after by attacking midfielders Josh Maja (Sunderland) and Ebere Eze (Queens Park Rangers). All were invited to join the Nigeria squad for a training match on Monday, for assessment by the technical crew.