Seven years ago Kelechi Iheanacho made his name with the Golden Eaglets at both the U17 AFCON in Morocco as well as the U17 World Cup in Abu Dhabi, where he was named MVP.
Another Iheanacho, Stanley, no relation to the Leicester City star, will now also hope to use the schoolboy competition to launch himself internationally.
The latest Iheanacho, a promising striker who has a good close control and a big heart, already has a lot going for him.
He is one of a handful of players from the national U15s who has made the big jump to the Golden Eaglets.
The budding striker is also following a rich and proud tradition of players from FC Hearts who have used the country’s U17s as a springboard to reach higher heights.
The club boast the likes of Macauley Chrisantus, Musa Mohammed, Ifeanyi Mathew, Ibrahim Alhassan ‘Muazzam’ and most recently Daniel Francis ‘Dada’ and Usman Ibrahim ‘Walidi’ who have flown high with the Golden Eaglets.
“Iheanacho has the talent and now with the exposure he will enjoy with the Eaglets we expect a lot more from him,” said his coach Abdul Yahaya.
Before the trip to Togo, Iheanacho has already received words of encouragement from Anderlecht forward Paul Mukairu, who trained with him in Abuja before he headed to Europe.
“He has to grab his opportunity when it comes. I trust he will remain focused and do just that and that’s what I told him,” Mukairu revealed.
Stanley Iheanacho boosted his self-belief by coming off the bench to score in an 8-1 thrashing of Future Stars of Abuja in the Eaglets final test match before their departure from the country.
“I am happy with my goal and my performance,” he said shyly.
“I hope to make Nigeria proud of me.”