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New Zealand 2015: Akanni Backs Flying Eagles To Succeed

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Former Nigeria junior international Waidi Akanni has expressed satisfaction with the three friendly games the Flying Eagles played in their training base in Germany.

The Flying Eagles defeated the U-23 teams of Hoffenheim, Nuremburg and Freiburg 5-2, 5-0 and 4-1 respectively.
Speaking to the Media, Akanni who was in the Flying Eagles squad in 1985, posited that the friendly games should be enough for the team to do well in New Zealand.

“I think playing friendly games before you go into a proper tournament does a lot, “Whether it was against an U-23 or an U-20 side, the fact that they took part means they want to get ready and that is what you have friendly games for. It is about getting the technical and tactical ability ready and I think from those three friendly games, the coaches must have seen some things before they get to the tournament proper.

“Playing in the junior World Cup doesn’t necessarily mean you must play top flight friendly games. If you remember, the Flying Eagles played against African countries at the African Youth Championship which for me is a top tournament. So I think it’s a good preparatory tournament for the World Cup.

“And you know before you can play any top country for a friendly match, you have to talk to the FA. By and large, whatever they have done so far, getting the opportunity to go and train abroad and playing against the club sides, it would have meant a lot for the players and the coaches.”

Akanni went on to advise the team not to start thinking about winning the tournament now, but they should take the games one after the other.

He said: “We won bronze in 1985 and silver in 1989. I think the best thing is for them to take the games as they come. I don’t expect them to start looking at the final now or winning the cup now, they should do the nornal things. 
“I believe if they can do that they will go far because they’ve been together for a while, the coaches know the new players and the old players. So if they can just keep their heads, they will go far in the tournament.”

READ ALSO  Nigerians expected too much from Flying Eagles – Adepoju

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