Amuneke: Under-17 World Cup Draw is a Welcome Development

Head coach of the Nigeria Under-17 National Team, Emmanuel Amuneke, has expressed optimism about his side’s chances of defending the Fifa World Cup tournament they won in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2013.

Fifa U-17 World Cup holders Nigeria are paired with hosts Chile, Croatia and USA in the group phase of the 2015 tournament.

Amuneke, who led the four-time world champions to a fourth-placed finish at the African Junior Championship in Niger Republic earlier this year, has said they “were not expecting anything less” from the drawing of hats.

“The draw is a welcome development because we had been waiting anxiously for long to know about the teams we are going to meet and it is interesting that we are in the same group with the host team, Chile,” Amuneke told thenff.com.

The one-time African Player of the Year was assistant coach to Manu Garba when Nigeria won the title in the UAE last term. He admits the Golden Eaglets must be prepared to surmount any challenge that comes their way in Chile.

“We know there won’t be any easy game for us and we have to redouble our efforts and continue to prepare well since we know now our group phase opponents,” he continued.

“All this while, we had been working generally but we would now be working specifically with our opponents in mind.”

The 2015 tournament will be held between 17 October and 8 November. The Eaglets open their campaign against USA on Match Day 1 and face Chile on 20 October, before playing their final group game three days later.

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