One of Nigeria’s coaches in the youth handball national teams heading to the IHF Challenge Trophy in Kosovo, Emeka Nnamani has declared that the players will excel if they stay focused and disciplined.
Nnamani, who will particularly take charge of the under-18 side, urged the players to maintain a high level of concentration on the task ahead of them, while also ensuring they keep their attitude on a good track.
The team will engage Paraguay and Chinese Taipei in the first round, but Nnamani believes both sides will not pose a serious threat to Nigeria’s aspirations, as he says he has taught his players a scientific approach.
Among the 12 Nigerian players to watch at the competition are Faruk Yusuf from Mountada Derb Sultan Handball Club of Morocco and Lagos Seasiders star, Ibrahim Dikko, who recently participated at the National U18 and 21 Championships.
Dikko, who will captain the under-18 team at the tournament, is among the key players that Nnamani and the other coach, Musa Oji, are banking on to enact heroics for Nigeria in Kosovo.
Other players in the squad that will be outlined by Nnamani, who is also head coach of Abuja-based Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Sharp Shooters, include Hakeem Salami, Sanni Bature, Adeshola Adelakun and Ekpodio Ebinatei, all from Lagos Seasiders.
The list also includes Salim Ahmed and Ismiala Yahaya, both from Niger United, as well as Bello Mohammed (Lagos Seasiders), Obinna Okwor (Idah Pillars), Abubakar Dauda (Borno Spiders), Saheed Shittu (Kwara State), Anas Yashau (Najet Handball Academy Zaria) and Abdulrahaman Abdullazeez (Kada Stars).
Nnamani stressed: “I have seen my opponents and they are no threat; because they are champions in their continent while we are as well.
“I believe we are representing Nigeria and the continent as a whole. My message to the players is to remain focused and be disciplined.
“The most important thing is to be determined and play to instructions all the time.
“The game has gone scientific so we must use all avenues to see we achieve success.
“Handball is not only on long distance shooting which made us also engage in other ways of shooting during camping.”