“My Best Will Be Your Reward” – Desire Oparanozie Promises Fans After Falcons Return
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By Amaechi Agbo
Former captain, Desire Oparanozie has promised fans that “my best will be your reward” for their support after she was recalled to the Nigeria senior female national football team, the Super Falcons.
The 29 years old was recalled into the Randy Waldrum’s 23-woman list for the two World Cup warm-up matches in Turkey in April.
The Wuhan Jianghan University of China Super League star have been previously omitted from the national team set up including the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, WAFCON in Morocco last year where the team recorded their worst continental campaign in 10 years as well as the Mexico Revelation Cup in February.
Her continued omission, no doubt, had generated hited debate with many being critical of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF over their continued witch-hunt of the player, as fans and stakeholders questioned her absence from the team.
Since leading the Super Falcons players to demand for their entitlements in France during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted there, and despite her apology thereafter, NFF has continued to omit her from the team set up. She lost her captain armband consequently after the the tournament which the team reached last 16.
However, NFF bowed to pressure and recalled her to the team, a move the player expressed gratitude to the fans and promised to repair them with good performances
“The show of love and support I’ve recieved these past days has been incredibly overwhelming. I’m thankful to everyone of you for your genuine support❤.
“My best will be your reward🙏🏾.” Oparanozie said on verified Twitter handle on Tuesday.
Waldrum called up team captain Onome Ebi, and forwards Asisat Oshoala and Rasheedat Ajibade to the camp of Super Falcons ahead of next month’s international friendly matches in Turkey.
The nine-time African champions have a date against World Cup-bound Haiti women’s national team at the Emir Sports Complex in Antalya, Turkey on Friday, 7th April, before taking on World Cup co-hosts New Zealand at the Mardan Sports Complex also in Antalya on Tuesday, 11th April.
ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Yewande Balogun (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Inyene Etim (Abia Angels)
Defenders: Onome Ebi (Abia Angels); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Glory Ogbonna (Besiktas JK, Turkey); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France)
Midfielders : Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (FC Levante Las Planas, Spain); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (AS Saint-Etienne, France)
Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Femenin, Spain); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, Kentucky, USA); Desire Oparanozie (Wuhan Chegu Jianghan, China); Gift Monday (UDG Tenerife, Spain)