Izilien led the Falcons to win the African Nations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2004 during the administration of then NFA Chairman, Ibrahim Galadima. It was the fourth AWC title for Nigeria.
Former national team coach, Godwin Izilien has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to organise grade A friendly matches for the women U-20 team to get it ready for the challenges expected at the 2018 World Cup in France.
Nigeria has been drawn in the same Group D with Germany, Republic of China and Haiti. Germany and China are women football super powers and to ensure Nigeria was not disgraced at the intermediate championship, Izilien charged the Coach Chris Danjuma led technical crew to start making early plans with the Nigeria football federation (NFF) to organise top quality grade A games for the team before the World Cup kicks off in August 5, 2018.
He advised the Falconets’ handlers to take preparations for the World Cup serious if they desired to survive their tough group opponents in the first round of the championship. Izilien urged the coaches to search for more quality players from the domestic scene, advising that the players should be assessed by their present form. He also pleaded with the NFF to help the Falconets in their preparations, saying they need special attention to succeed in France.
Izilien added that the Falconets camp should be open early to enable the players, who, he said, were still growing in football, blend properly before the World Cup.
“The Falconets are in a tough group in the FIFA U-20 women World Cup. The only way they can succeed is when the coaches select players for the tournament without sentiments. This is one of the issues killing football at the cadet level.
“They should focus on getting credible players based on their current form. There is still time for the team handlers to also monitor some young talented players in the league and invite the girls to contest for shirts.
“The Falconets need to be strictly supervised because this is the place the next generation of the Super Falcons players are discovered. Based on the quality of the Falconets group opponents, the NFF should work out modalities to organise quality friendlies for the team ahead of the World Cup.
The girls need to be exposed to understand more tricks and tactics in soccer through this tune up games. It would not be fair for Nigeria if the team gets disgraced in the championship,” he said. The 2018 U-20 Women World Cup will hold in four cities in France, including Vannes, Concarneau, Saint-Malo and Dinan/Lehon with16 countries, including Nigeria and Ghana, vying for the trophy.