National team return thrills Ugbade


Nduka Ugbade is delighted to be returning to the Nigeria U17 team.

The former Nigeria international was surprisingly dropped from the national set-up after the country’s less than impressive outing at the FIFA U20 World Cup last year in New Zealand, despite only being an assistant.

Ugbade was one of the assistants to Manu Garba as Nigeria  won her fourth FIFA U17 World Cup in 2013 in the United Arab Emirates with the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success and was subsequently ‘promoted’ to the U20s with the squad, while Emmanuel Amuneke and Emeka Amadi – who were also assistant coaches at the 2013 U17 – were retained at the U17s.

Ugbade was however dropped in a surprise move by the Nigeria Football Federation shortly after the U20 World Cup last year, with Manu eventually returned to the U17s while Amuneke, who had won Nigeria’s fifth U17 World Cup, was moved to the U20s.

Reacting to the decision by the NFF to return him to the U17s as assistant to Manu Garba, Ugbade says he is always happy to heed the call of his country.

“I am delighted with the call because I am always happy to serve my country,” said Ugbade.

“When you get the call to serve your country, it is always a honour and we will see how it goes,” he added.

The Nigeria U17s have been preparing for the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Madagascar.