Flamingoes coach, Dedevbo confident of a strong squad
The Flamingoes have been ever-present at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and two years ago in Trinidad & Tobago became the first African country to escape the group phase. After winning their three group matches they advanced to a quarter-final clash with eventual champions Korea Republic, and in a game that must rank as one of the all-time greats at any FIFA competition, the Asians beat the Flamingoes 6-5 in extra time.
It was not the only time that The Flamingoes had created some waves at the competition, as in 2008 in New Zealand, where they were eliminated in the first round despite managing a 2-2 draw with Brazil and a defeat of the Korea Republic.
Coach Peter Dedevbo, who was also in charge of the team at the last finals, has indicated that he will look very carefully at the squad he used during qualifying. “I will test some new players and there is a good chance that some of them will make the new team,” the 42-year-old had said, adding, “There are a lot of good young players in our country, and I am confident that I will have a strong squad at the finals.”
Dedevbo, who also coaches the Delta Queens, is confident that the women’s game in Nigeria will continue to grow. “We started developing women’s football two, three decades ago and we have been able to reap the rewards. I believe the game is catching up in Africa and we will soon be on par with Europe and the US. Qualifying for tournaments such as the Under-17s obviously helps, as it keeps women’s football in the focus.”
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