Thirty players are expected to be left in camp at Abuja out of the present 35 when the Nigeria’s U20 Women’s national team, the Super Falconets begin the next phase of their preparation next week for the African Qualifiers against Sierra leone enroute the U-20 World Cup billed for Japan in August this year.
Speaking with a source from the camp of the team,15 players were invited to camp to complement the 20 earlier called up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). These latest 15 are players picked from the last U-17 and U-20 squad that represented Nigeria at the World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago and Germany respectively but are still within the age bracket.
The source hinted that what informed the decision of the technical crew to give more players the opportunity to prove their mettle was to ensure that the country presents her best in the February 17-19 first leg encounter in Leone against Sierra Leone.
“We have resumed camping for the qualifier with Sierra Leone and 35 players are already in camp sweating it out. But by Monday next week we shall prune down the numbers of players in camp to 30 until we are able to get the 20 to 25 players we shall be using to prosecute the qualifiers.
“It is also noteworthy to let you know that we invited 15 players from the bulk of players that represented us at the U-17 and the U-20 tournaments two years ago that are still within the age bracket. We want to pick the best for Nigeria and that is what we intend doing so that there won’t be any hangover of what happened last year again to our senior female national team,” the source said.
It was also learnt that the technical crew of the U-20 female team led my coach Edwin Okon and assisted by Taiwo Ajobiewe,former captain of the Super Falcons Florence Omagbemi and Christopher Nwehi have solicited for the assistance of the media to ensure that the best is gotten for the country highlighted that, they welcome constructive criticisms, in as much as they are in the best interest of the team.
Nigeria Falconets who are the reigning second best team in the world after their heroics of 2010 in Germany will visit Sierra Leone on the weekend of February 17-19 before the return leg in Nigeria on the weekend of 2-4 March, 2012.
To book a date with the falconets, Sierra Leone qualified without kicking a ball after their opponent, Guinea withdrew before the first leg was played last October.
Nigeria is seeking a record 6th appearance at the U20 World Cup which started in 2002 in Canada then for the U19s before the age limit was raised to 20 at the 2006 edition in Russia. At the last competition held in Germany two years ago, the Edet Egan led team bagged a silver medal.
By Tunde Liadi, Owerri