Nigeria’s soccer team players run with balls during a training session AFP/Getty Images/ JEWEL SAMAD
• Team can rule Africa, says Rohr • Omagbemi optimistic
After about one month of camping in Abuja, players and officials of the Super Falcons will today jet out to Cameroon, venue of the 10th Africa Women Cup of Nations.
The competition will hold from November 19 to December 3, and the Falcons, led by Coach Florence Omagbemi are in Group B alongside their West Africa rivals, Black Queens of Ghana, Kenya and Mali.
The Falcons won the title two years ago in Windhoek, Namibia, beating the Lionesses of Cameroon 2-0 to commence the journey of the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board.
It is the first time the African Women Nation Cup is taking place in Cameroon since its inception in 1998.
Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr believes that the Falcons can retain the title.
The Falcons are expected to arrive in Lagos this afternoon to connect a flight to Cameroon.
Rohr, who had earlier been at the Falcons’ training session some weeks ago, said in Abuja that he saw a lot of improvement in the team. The Franco-German tactician told thenff.com: “I have seen a good training match against the boys and I can see the team is better than the last time I saw them. I could see that everyone invited are here: homed –based and foreign –based professionals. And I can see that they work very well with the coach.
“I have seen a good organization in the team as well as a good spirit. I told the coach a few things, among these being that she should play simple, to always have the movement and to play together. I believe they can do it and they will turn out good in the tournament in Cameroon. I think they can win this tournament. Mali is their first game; it is very important to win this game, and Ghana won’t be so easy. Kenya, I think normally we will defeat.
“The Super Falcons are fit and will fight well for the green and white colors in Cameroon,” Rohr stated.
The Super Falcons have won the African Championship a record seven times since its first win in 1998 when Nigeria hosted. They won it again in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Head coach Florence Omagbemi told The Guardian yesterday that the players are in good shape, adding that they are looking forward to the kick off of the championship.
She released her final team list late yesterday evening. “The players are in good shape for the competition and we (technical crew) have selected players who are capable of winning the title. All the players invited to camp were good, but we can’t take everybody at the same time.
“Those who could not make the trip to Cameroon will have the chance to prove themselves in subsequent national assignment. They should not feel bad for not making this trip. I urged Nigerians to support us. We won’t disappoint them,” Omagbemi stated.