Manu Garba boast as the best Africa Cadet Coach
Former Golden Eaglets coach, Manu Garba, says he is Africa’s best coach at the cadet level, saying no coach on the continent had done better than him at U-17 level.
The former Gombe United coach stated this after the Eaglets captain at last year’s U-17 World Cup in Brazil Samson Tijani was handed an invitation to the senior team ahead of the country’s friendly matches against Algeria and Tunisia next month.
In an interview with Saturday PUNCH , Garba said he remained the best cadet coach in Africa.
“If we go back to history, we will see that the likes of Sunday Mba, Chrisantus Macauley, Elderson Echiejile, Lukman Haruna, Kelechi Iheanacho and a host of others were all my products. Samson Tijani, Chidera Ejuke, Francis Uzoho were also some of the players I discovered,” Garba told Saturday PUNCH .
“This doesn’t make me fulfilled because one doesn’t get tired, but the most important thing is to get the right set of players who will do the country proud.
“I was also a product of the grassroots system and I was part of the U-20 team that represented Nigeria at its first-ever U-20 World Cup appearance in Mexico in 1983. I was discovered at the National Sports Festival.
“If you look at my credential, you will discover that not only in Africa, I am one of the best in the world. In Africa, I don’t see any coach having the kind of credentials that I have at the cadet level.
“So, having Tijani invited to the senior national team is a good omen for every young player, so that they can push more to get the same opportunity because we have many of them waiting for such an opportunity.”
Garba coached the Eaglets in 2013, winning the U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
He was also an assistant coach to late coach Yemi Tella when the team won the cadet world and continental championships in 2007.
The 54-year-old returned as the head of the Nigeria U-17 side in 2019 before he was relieved of his job by the Nigeria Football Federation following the ouster of the team in the round of 16 by Netherland.