Football fans in Ebonyi have described the Flying Eagles victory at the West African Football Union (WAFU) zone B competition on Friday as a ‘soothing balm’ on the football pysche of Nigerians.
Reportshave it that the nation’s male U-20 team defeated the young Squirrels of Benin Republic 3-1in Niamey, Niger Republic to win the competition, to emerge the third champions of the bi-ennal tournament.
The Eagles, alongside the young squirrels, thus qualified for the African Youth championship in Egypt in February 2023 for a slot in the World Youth Championship in Indonesia.
The fans who spoke to NAN on Saturday in Abakaliki, congratulated the Eagles, noting that they somewhat brought the minds of soccer fans back to football.
Hillary Ogbonna, Chief Coach of newly formed Salt City Football Club of Abakaliki, said the victory would assuage the feelings of soccer fans after the Super Eagles failure to qualify for the Qatar 2022 world cup.
“The WAFU competition might not be in the class of the world cup but the victory will make the fans believe in their national teams again.
“I am sure that even those who angrily vandalised the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, when the super eagles flopped against Ghana, would have something to cheer,” he said.
Gregory Ikpeama, Defunct Anambra State Environmental and Sanitation Authority (ASESA) Warriors player, described the team as worth champions due to its incisive and result-oriented display in the competition.
“Coach Ladan Bosso assembled a bunch of dedicated footballers who want to create names for themselves with football.
“It is astonishing that the team had barely two weeks to prepare for the competition and right from its trial matches, played as if it had been together for months,” he said.
Chief Abel Okeh, a Business man and football enthusiast, urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to commence immediate preparations for the African youth championship.
“The bulk of the victorious players should be retained while area of noticeable deficiencies should be fortified.
“The NFF should arrange with the clubs of these players to formulate convenient training programmes for the team for adequate preparations,” he said.
Mrs Chika Onoh, a teacher and football buff, urged the Golden Eaglets to emulate the Flying Eagles as they prepared for WAFU zone B U-17 competition in Ghana.
“Coach Nduka Ugbade should seek necessary tips from Bosso to ensure eventual victory in the competition.
“A victory for the eaglets will go a long way in soothing the nerves of football fans still reeling from the senior team’s world cup outster,” she said.