Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) president Mr Samuel Ocheho believes the national team are well prepared to go toe-to-toe with the best teams at the 2020 Nations Cup in Tunisia after they finished pre-tournament preparations with two wins and two defeats from four games.
Ocheho, in a chat with journalists on the HFN media group on social media application, WhatsApp, said the current crop of players are vastly superior to the disbanded team that came last in Gabon two years ago and expressed confidence that the team would achieve the target of qualifying for the World Cup by getting to the semifinals.
“The team is ready to face the realities of the Nations Cup as our target is to qualify for the World Cup”. Ocheho said.
“At the last outing we came last but the team has promised to do extremely better this time around. They have had the best of preparations since December 1, 2019, and are presently on a training tour in Tunis since January 1, 2020.
They have played grade A friendlies against Morrocco, a top Tunisian club side, Cameroun and DR Congo winning two and losing two.”
The HFN president believes the team has made tremendous progress in the past few weeks and that the luxury of the preparatory games has helped them fix any shortcomings which should see them enter the competition in the best possible shape.
“There is a good progression with the team and we are progressing nicely to the tournament,” he said.
“The tour has afforded the team to make necessary corrections of their flaws and they have promised to do well and make Nigerians proud.
“The Federation is happy to have given them the necessary tools to excel. Now we look forward to great results from them. Everyone is in good shape and injury-free.
“Our first game will be against Angola and they have promised to create an upset,” Ocheho added.
Nigeria play Angola in their tournament opener on16 January 16 before facing Gabon and Libya in their fixtures in Group B.