Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze and Taiwo Awoniyi are some of the top Super Eagles stars currently shining on the global platform, having made their names at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
And as the Nigerian team prepares to start its campaign at the 2023 showpiece in Algeria, the players are inspired by such stories, and skipper Precious Williams is one of those who hopes he can follow in their footsteps and also shine.
“It is a big encouragement just watching them at the highest level and knowing that they started here at the U17 Cup of Nations. It is a big encouragement for us players that we can make it too,” Williams says.
He adds; “Personally it is a huge motivation for me and I hope that from here I will lift my name high too.”
Nigeria have qualified for the tournament a record 10 times, and is one of only five countries to have ever won the tournament twice since the start of its new format in 1995.
Coming into the 2023 showpiece, skipper Williams, who plays at the HB Football Academy in Abuja says their two main targets are achieving qualification for the FIFA World Cup, and going for a hattrick of titles.
The 16-year old centre forward says they have prepared well for the tournament and are looking forward to attaining their targets.
“The coaches have done their work to prepare us for the games and we are coming in to use the knowledge they have imparted in us to get what we want to achieve; qualifying for the World Cup and trying to win the tournament,” said Williams.
Teams that progress to the semi-finals will automatically earn a slot into the next World Cup to be staged later on in the year and for a tournament they have won five times before, this will be the least expected of the Golden Eaglets.
Meanwhile, for Williams, he hopes that this tournament will be a springboard to a long and illustrious career that will propel him into the Super Eagles in a few years.
“It is a very special moment for me to wear the national team jersey and I want to go from here to the Super Eagles. This is a start and I hope it continues,” he stated.
Nigeria plays its first match of the tournament on Sunday, when they take on Zambia at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine.