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Football | Nigeria

One more tune up game for Falcons

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will play one more friendly game before the final squad for this year’s Africa Women’s Championships (AWC) is unveiled on Thursday.

Coach Uche Eucharia has announced that Delta Queens of Asaba will be the next opponents of the Falcons on Wednesday.

Three tune-up games have been played by the Falcons so far. Two against selected under-16 male teams and one against a female premier league team, Sunshine Queens of Akure. The Coach announced that the game against Delta Queens is likely to be the team’s last but before they depart the shores of Nigeria but hinted that another game may be squeezed in if the conditions are right.

“We are looking to play the champions of the league, Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt after the final list is announced on October 21 but all that is subject to all arrangements working out perfectly,” she said.

Twenty nine players are currently at the Abuja camp of the Falcons with just one player, Faith Ikidi of Swedish Damallavenkan, Linköpings FC been expected. Onome Ebi, Sarah Michaell and Captain, Perpetua Nkwocha were the latest to hit camp. They arrived Abuja, late on tuesday after a grueling flight from Sweden. The three players will sit out this morning’s training but are expected to do some light work in the evening.

“The training sessions have been going very well,” continued Uche.

“The girls are improving their fitness all the time and understanding what I want them to do with each passing day.

The only negative is the Faith Ikidi affair. Hopefully that will be resolved and she will join us in time for the AWC. The games will be tough as there is more than just pride at stake. The ticket for the World Cup will be decided in South Africa and teams will fight with intensity to get results so we need all our best players. Ikidi certainly belongs to that category and we hope she joins us soon,” she said.

Uche, who was part of Nigeria’s team to the first Fifa Women’s World Cup in China, 20 years ago, is however faced with the unenviable task of making the most difficult decision of her coaching career in the next 48 hours. The final list of players, who will be on the plane to South Africa, will be announced within that period.

“The hearts of a lot of players will be broken. I feel depressed thinking about it because all the girls have been immense. Asking some of them to leave will certainly break my heart but it is a decision I will have to make on Thursday,’ she said.

The AWC begins on October 31 and runs to November 14 and the Nigerians have been grouped in pot A with South Africa, Tanzania and Mali.


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