Former Super Eagles captain Kanu Nwankwo (MON) has urged members of the Flying Eagles team to forget about the disastrous loss last Saturday to the Young Falcons of Sudan and instead work on moving ahead with their careers
instead of dwelling on the past.
The Flying Eagles needed at least a draw at home against the Sudanese to qualify for the African Junior Nations Cup having beaten their opponets 2-1 away but lost 3-4 on Lagos to be knocked out of the tournament which also serves as the qualifiers for the U20 World Cup.
Writing on his column in his sports news website www.papilonews.com, Kanu warned the Flying Eagles stars against letting the disappointing loss get to them and instead advised them to take a cue from his own Flying Eagles
disappointment in 1993 and learn from how he overcame the disappointment to make a name for himself globally.
“My candid advise to the boys is simple: “Keep working hard, the best is yet to come. Never lose belief in yourself. Never lose belief in your God. This life is full of ups and downs. I bet when you won the U17 World Cup you never in your wildest dreams imagined that you wouldn’t be able to qualify for the ANC or the World cup. But some days are like that.
I’ll give you a personal experience. In 1993 I went to the U20 African Youth Championship. Nigeria did not have a great tournament as we could not even qualify from our group. For me, I had a nightmare tournament, watching only from the sidelines as we first lost 1-0 to Cameroun, beat the hosts Mauritius 2-0 and when we need a draw to qualify, we lost 1-0 to arch rivals Ghana.
I didn’t get to taste a single minute of action in the tournament and even though I was greatly disappointed, I did not let it get to me. I just went back home and worked harder. I told myself I was young and I had the future ahead of me so there was no need crying over spilt milk.
“Fortunately I was within the age limit for the U17 team and coach Fanny Amun soon drafted me into the squad and I went on to have a great tournament and from there launched my career to get to the level I got.
“If I had let the disappointment of the woeful tournament that was Mauritius ’93 affect me, I probably wouldn’t have become a name most football fans across the world can recognize. Your future is too bright for you to waste it thinking of the past. Be determined to become a name many football fans across the world will recognize in many years. Forget the pain of last Saturday. Go for the glory ahead.”