Coach Manu Garba has named burly midfielder Abduljabar Sani as captain of the new set of Nigeria U-17 team, Golden Eaglets, ahead of Saturday’s Africa U-17 qualifier against Niger Republic at the National Stadium, Abuja.
Sani, sourced from Jos-based G-Smart Academy, has been one of the mainstays of the new-look Golden Eaglets. 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup-winning coach Garba told thenff.com that the choice of Sani as well as his assistants, was based on merit and sound behavioural conduct.
“We have been watching all the players over time and there is no doubt that Abduljabar has been very outstanding in terms of performance and general attitude amongst his colleagues,” explained Garba. “He is level-headed and we have also seen in him leadership qualities, and also he mixes freely with other players.”
To assist Sani are defender Igoh Ogbu and goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleke who Garba described as exemplary and outstanding in their respective positions on the field: “Igoh and Adebayo are very outstanding players with strong personalities; Igoh for instance is like my former captain, Musa Muhammed with his commitment to the game while Adebayo is one of the best goalkeepers I have seen at this level in all my life in youth football; myself and the technical team believe they would both complement Abduljabar.”
Incidentally, Sani, who was captain of G-Smart Academy on his way to the national camp, said he was humbled by his choice as Golden Eaglets’ captain, saying he was ready for the demand of leading Nigeria to glory: “I’m very happy to be named the captain; Insha Allah (by the grace of Allah), we shall win our matches.”