Some Flying Eagles players on Thursday said that the uniqueness of the team was in the unity established among them by the management.
The players unequivocally told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that their current success was a collective effort of all the players in the team.
NAN reports that the bulk of the Flying Eagles team graduated from the glorious U-17 team that won the Chile 2015 World Cup for Nigeria for the fifth time.
Nigeria had won the title in 1985 in China, 1993 in Japan, 2007 in South Korea, United Arab Emirates in 2013 and in Chile in 2015.
However, winning the World Cup is not the only notable thing about the team, the boys also graduated with their coach Emmanuel Amuneke to the U-20 Flying Eagles currently maintaining the tempo.
The development reinforces the need for a team to grow from one age grade to another to ensure continuity in their style of play and make them formidable.
Assembling the present U-20 team, Amuneke graduated the World U-17 conquerors to the U-20 for the qualifying series for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Zambia.
Players such as Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhem, Funsho Bamgboye, Christian Ebere, Orji Okonkwo and eight others still maintain their positions in the team.
Since the start of the qualifications, the U-20 team had justified their call-up to the team by recording an amazing 100 per cent record.
Flying Eagles have yet to lose a match in the qualifying series.
It defeated Young Swallows of Burundi in the two legged encounter 2-1 in U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, and 1-0 in Bujumbura.
The Flying Eagle’s second qualification match against Sudan is almost done with a 2-1 victory against Sudan in the first leg of the qualifiers in Omdurman.
The return leg to be played at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Saturday should ensure a smooth passage of Nigeria’s youths to the Nations Cup.
Giving an insight to the secrets behind the success of the team so far, the captain, and Arsenal-bound Kelechi Nwakali, told NAN that it was a collective effort by all the players.
“The secret of the team is the unity among us, we are one family and relate well. The team is not about any individual, we see ourselves in matches as champions.
“Whenever anyone among us is not around, others step in and perform well, so, we leave no vacuum at all. Whenever I’m not around or Osimhen, other players compliment.
“The coach has made us to understand that the team will not be built on one individual, so everybody is involved as a family.
“We want Nigerians to continue to pray for the success of the team so that we will continue to deliver,’’ he said.
On his part, the Golden Ball winner of Chile 2015, and Wolfsburg-bound striker, Osimhen, said he felt great to be part of the U-20 side.
He added that he held no grudges for missing the trip to Olympics, adding that he had adapted to his new club’s style of play.
“I feel great moving from U-17 to the U-20 side; many don’t have the opportunity but I am happy to be able to adapt to the coaches instructions as well.
“My experience at Wolfsburg has been interesting and I am adapting to their style; with my potential, I hope to fit in to the team and the environment.
“The weather is very cool; though cold, I have no problem in adapting to the situation there.
“I have trained with them for about four months before joining the U-20 side in the qualifiers. Missing the Olympics did not make me sad,’’ he added.
Another player, Samuel Chukwueze said that the team did not underrate any opponent, adding that they would always like to give their best in any match. (NAN)