19 Super Falcons Players Begin Camping In Abuja Ahead Of 2022 Women’s AFCON
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By Vitus Michael
Africa’s Women’s Cup of Nations holder, Super Falcons of Nigeria on Friday began camping in Abuja ahead of the 12th edition of the tournament holding in Morocco next month, bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF confirmed that 19 players are already in camp in the federal capital perfecting strategies on how to defend the crown they won 4 years ago in Ghana.
“As at Friday morning, there were 19 players in camp, including captain Onome Ebi, alongside goalkeepers Chiamaka Nnadozie and Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Osinachi Ohale and Akudo Ogbonna, midfielders Rita Chikwelu and Rasheedat Ajibade, and forwards Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala and Gift Monday,” NFF said in a statement
Head Coach Randy Waldrum and assistants have the interesting challenge of quality and quantity of players – a useful blend of the old guard, talented youngsters from the home front and a number of skillful foreign-born stars who have been holding their own brilliantly.
US –based goalkeeper Yewande Balogun, defender Michelle Alozie and midfielders Amanda Mbadi and Toni Payne were being expected in camp on Friday.
Forwards Desire Oparanozie and Uchenna Kanu, as well as midfielder Regina Otu and US –based defender Nicole Payne will arrive in Abuja by the weekend.
England –based defender Ashleigh Plumptre, midfielder Halimatu Ayinde and forwards Francisca Ordega, Vivian Ikechukwu and Ifeoma Onumonu are to join the squad in Morocco next week
Nigeria, who have won nine of the 11 Women Africa Cup of Nations championships held so far, bundled out Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series and will play South Africa, Botswana and Burundi in the group stages in Morocco. They go up against the Banyana Banyana in their first match at the Prince Heritier Moulay Hassan Stadium in Rabat on Monday, 4th July, before matches against Botswana (Thursday, 7th July) and Burundi (Sunday, 10th July) at the same venue.
All four semi finalists at the tournament in Morocco will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand in the summer of 2023.
ALREADY IN CAMP: Onome Ebi, Rita Chikwelu, Osinachi Ohale, Tochukwu Oluehi, Glory Ogbonna, Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Chidinma Okeke, Rita Akarekor, Gift Monday, Opeyemi Sunday, Charity Adule, Christy Ucheibe, Suliat Abideen, Chinonyerem Macleans, Peace Efih, Ugochi Emenayo, Akudo Ogbonna
EXPECTED FRIDAY: Yewande Balogun, Toni Oyedupe Payne, Michelle Alozie, Amanda Uju Mbadi
EXPECTED BY WEEKEND: Nicole Payne, Uchenna Kanu, Desire Oparanozie, Regina Otu
TO JOIN TEAM IN MOROCCO: Ashleigh Plumptre, Francisca Ordega, Vivian Ikechukwu, Halimatu Ayinde, Ifeoma Onumonu
It could be recalled that the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF canceled the 2020 edition of the tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic.