Former Super Falcons Coach Hails NFF On Friendlies
By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
Former Super Falcons Assistant Coach and player, Maureen Mmadu, has commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for organising top international friendly matches for the country’s national female team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New-Zealand.
The Super Falcons are currently camping in Antalya, Turkey, where they are scheduled to play International Friendlies matches against Haiti and World Cup co-hosts, New Zealand. The nine-time African champions also had friendly games last month, which saw them take part in the Revelation Cup in Mexico.
The friendly games are put together to help the Super Falcons head coach, Randy Waldrum perfect his strategy and plans before they travel to Australia and New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In a chat with Voice of Nigeria in Abuja, ex-coach Mmadu said the the friendly games would further expose the players to what to expect when the world football showpiece commences.
“It’s a good idea we are playing some tune up games now. It will help the coaching crew see the fitness of the players and also expose the team to what to expect when the tournament starts,” Mmadu said. “Kudos to the country’s football authority for arranging those friendlies for the team.”
Coach Mmadu also advised the head coach to select players on merit and to always invite players who are playing regular competitive football in their respective clubs to camp, while fighting for a place in the national team.
“The head coach should always contact the Clubs or coaches where the country’s players plays for, to know their fitness level before inviting them for national assignments,” Mmadu advised. “He should also select players base on their current form for better results.”
Mmadu, who is a founder of Maureen Mmadu Football Academy based in Onitsha, Anambra State, is optimistic that the Super Falcons will have an impressive outing at the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“We have the players, experienced enough to deliver at top level, but we must put our house in order, focus on our target, we will get to the top,” Mmadu concluded.
Super Falcons Coach Waldrum invited 23 players for the games, including Barcelona Femeni striker, Asisat Oshoala and longtime absentee Desire Oparanozie. On Wednesday, Oparanozie joined the squad before lunch time in Antalya.
Still expected are US based quartet – Ifeoma Onumonu, Michelle Alozie, Jennifer Onyi Echegini, Uchenna Kanu and Osinachi Ohale.
Nigeria’s form in friendly games under coach Waldrum, with just one win in their last eight games hasn’t been impressive, according to analysts. The nine-time African champions have qualified for the World Cup since its inception in 1991, but have only made it out of the group stages once.
The 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will be held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20th – 20th August, 2023. Nigeria will open its FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Canada on July 21st, before taking on Australia six days later. The last group game versus Republic of Ireland takes place on 31st July, 2023.