Taiwo Awoniyi Was Not Part Of Golden Eaglets U-17 World Cup Plan - Manu Garba - oguncitynews


Monday 13 November 2023

Taiwo Awoniyi Was Not Part Of Golden Eaglets U-17 World Cup Plan - Manu Garba

Taiwo Awoniyi was the luckiest player in my FIFA U17 World Cup winning team in the UAE because he was not part of the screening exercise in Abuja and I already had a team camping in Calabar at Princeville Hotel Calabar made up of forty players and one day I flew from Calabar for a meeting at the NFF and I saw a clip of the then U15 national team match and in the clip, Taiwo Awoniyi scored a goal with the head and I just said coach Siji Olagunju should give me his number and I called, introduce myself as the head coach of the National U-17 team and told him to try and come to Calabar and fight for a place in the team. 

When Awoniyi arrived at Calabar, the team doctor said why do I invite him because they were together in the national U-15 team and he was very slow and can't make it and I told him that I personally saw a clip of his game and invited him and that I want to watch him for some time and God willing, he made the team to the world cup. 

Though he wasn't a first-team starter, when Success Isaac, the highest goal scorer in all the friendly games we played and at the AFCON U-17 tournament in Morocco got a hamstring injury while celebrating the goal he scored against Sweden in the group match at the world cup, Taiwo Awoniyi got his chance scored a goal with an assist and finished the world cup with 4 goals. 

Taiwo Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi was the main striker when we won the Super 6 Glo LMC Football Competition in Abuja 2015 defeating the likes of Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Warri Wolves, Dolphins, and National U-23, and was the main striker when we won the Afcon U20 Senegal 2015 trophy and Gold Medal and finished with 3 goals and some assist. 

This story is a testimony of the development of Taiwo Awoniyi and why we have to believe in destiny whether good or bad. On a final note, I'm delighted to have played a great role in contributing to his development, and Biizinillah, the player can always get be.

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