Egypt-based striker Junior Ajayi has said Nigeria can successfully retain the U23 AFCON crown next month with early and proper preparation.
Nigeria have been drawn against Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Zambia in the U23 AFCON, which also serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I wish the U23 team the best of luck in the AFCON tournament, but one thing is certain, early preparation will make them to triumph in the tournament,” he told SCORENigeria
“There are no two ways about that. They have to start early if they hope to do well and make the country proud again.”
Ajayi said he still has fond memories of his time with the U23s leading up to bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I remember in 2016, when I was part of the Dream Team, when we won the U-23 AFCON Gold medal in Senegal, it was a pleasant memory that remains fresh in my mind because that was the stepping stone of my career,” he recalled.
“During the period of qualifiers, I gave it my best, continuing in that manner to the tournament proper.
“I was glad at that time to be counted as one of the players by the coach to represent the country and we brought back the gold medal.
“I was also a part of the Nigerian contingent who represented the country in football in the 2016 Olympics and we got a bronze medal. “