By ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
Flying Eagles’ Chief Coach, John Obuh, has handed in his programme for the Turkey FIFA World Youth Championship (WYC) to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), proposing an early camping period of close to two months, starting from April 15. Daily Sunsports source at the Glass House revealed that the Flying Eagles’ handler equally submitted a detailed technical report of the team’s participation in the Algiers’ Africa Youth Championship (AYC), highlighting certain factors that contributed in the team’s failure to successfully defend the trophy it won in the last edition in South Africa at the last tournament.
According to our source: “I can confirm to you that Coach Obuh has submitted both his technical report on the team’s participation in Algiers and his programme for the WYC billed for Turkey in June. “Among other things, he specifically made an appeal to the federation for the team to get early camping, specifically, proposing April 15. He did not specify where he wants the camping to start.
But all I want you to know is that the federation will soon look into both his programme and his technical report for the AYC and take final decision on them,” our source noted. Meanwhile, fresh facts are beginning to emerge over the circumstances that contributed to the team finishing with bronze medal at the last AYC, as an impeccable source revealed that the coach prosecuted the tournament with only one goalkeeper due to a late injury that sidelined his first and second choice keepers.
While lamenting the fate that befell the team, our source explained that the injury struck the keepers when the coach had already submitted his final team list to CAF and was about to depart Tunisia for Algiers for the tournament proper, adding that he was left with no option than to depend on his only fit third-choice keeper. “We have to commend Coach Obuh instead of crucifying him. Let me tell you that he prosecuted the tournament in Algeria with only one fit goalkeeper because of the late injury that hit his first and second choice keepers. The injury came at a wrong time when the team was about to round up training in Tunisia.
“Since he had submitted the final team list to CAF, there was nothing he could do other than managing the situation with his third choice keeper. “In fact, the injury concern was not the only challenge he faced. The training camp in Tunisia was also far below acceptable standard. “The team did not enjoy the freedom of undergoing the normal training schedules because other teams also made use of the training facilities.
Honestly, so many factors militated against the team before and during the tournament. “One other sad incidence was the divisions in the camp. The officials were sharply divided in factions,” our source reported.