A special place is already reserved in African football folklore for Nigeria’s Florence Omagbemi as the first lady to lift the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations when Nigeria hosted and won the inaugural edition in 1998 in Abeokuta, South-Western part of the West African country.
The Super Falcons of Nigeria have won seven of the last nine editions of the final tournament and Omagbemi led her troops to two other successive victories in 2000 and 2002 to go down in history as one of the most successive captains of a national women’s team on the continent.
She has since retired and will be one of two former amazons along with South Africa’s Desiree Ellis that would be leading their respective countries quest for glory as coaches at the upcoming Women’s AFCON in Cameroon from 19 November to 3 December.
The Falcons are in Group B with perennial rivals, Ghana as well as Mali and Kenya.
Omagbemi is not oblivious of the challenges ahead but was enthusiastic of becoming the first captain to win the trophy as coach.
“Though as the defending champions, a lot is expected from us, I don’t see it as a pressure because every team coming to Cameroon would want to have a go at us but we know remaining at the top is never going to be easy,” began the 41-year-old former forward.
“We have communicated that to the team and we want to keep our high standard. We want to retain the trophy because that is the target in Cameroon. We want to respect the other teams because there are no smaller teams again in football but we are not under any pressure. We just want to retain our trophy as the defending champions,” she affirmed.
The Falcons opening match is against Mali on Sunday, 20 November 2016 in Limbe.
Sat 19 Nov 2016