Akwa United midfielder Afeez Aremu has said he is confident Super Eagles B Team will not disappoint Nigerians at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
Super Eagles B Team have been paired in Group C alongside former champions Libya, 2016 CHAN host nation Rwanda and debutant Equatorial Guinea.
Morocco will host the 5th edition of the CHAN championship which kicks off January 13, Nigeria failed to qualify for the championship designed for home-based players across the African continent in 2010 and 2012.
Nigeria made her debut in 2014 and finished with a bronze medal in South Africa, the 2016 edition in Rwanda witnessed the NPFL boys crash out in the group stages after a shocking matchday three defeat to Guinea in Rubavu.
“We have to put aside the 2016 experience,” said Aremu to naijafootballplus.com. “During the qualifiers I spoke with players who were in that team and also still in the team about their experience and the story wasn’t good. After the qualifiers the coach told us it’s a must we deliver in Morocco.
“We have seen the draws and we have to work hard. Libya are former champions, Rwanda had a good tournament as host last year and Equatorial Guinea have shown their league is improving. We must not under rate any team, we are set for a tough challenge ahead of us.”
The former Sunshine Stars midfielder played once in the two-legged CHAN qualifiers against Benin Republic but featured in all matches at the 2017 WAFU Cup tournament in September held in Ghana.
Nigeria lost 4-0 to host Ghana in the final game at the Cape Coast Stadium.
Despite the poor finish at the WAFU Cup, Aremu believes the Super Eagles B Team will fly and shine in Morocco next year.
He added: “We learnt a lot of lessons in Ghana, we had several positives and the final game was the only negative day for us. We played five games without conceding, we defeated Ghana to advance to the last four despite the fact that we didn’t camp for the tournament.
“All the players had a tedious league season and the squad of players was just 18. Honestly, we picked a lot of good moments and we must continue to work hard, improve the team performance. I’m excited we will have enough time to prepare and the experience from the coaches and the old players in the squad will be a big advantage for us in Morocco.
“I’m confident we won’t disappoint our fans especially the league followers, we also understand their love and support for the team. This is one tournament we can use to make a big statement and prove to everyone that the league have got abundant talents,” Aremu concluded.
Nigeria will begin their championship quest against Rwanda on January 15, followed by a clash against Libya on January 19 while the last group game against Equatorial Guinea will be on 23 of January, 2018.