Abuja - Edwin Okon, the head coach of the Super Falcons, on Tuesday said the team was ready to face their Rwandese counterparts in the 2014 African Women Championship (AWC) qualifying matches.
Okon said this in an interview in Abuja, after the national senior women football team’s last training session before their departure to Rwanda.
NAN reports that the team is preparing for their two-leg AWC qualifiers against Rwanda.
The coach said the players had responded well to instructions at trainings.
“The girls are okay and we are good to go. They are ready for the game because their attitude towards training has been very sound.
“Now I shout less, because they now know what to do. We also thank God that we don’t have any injury worries.
“They (the players) are trying their best and we will keep on correcting them, until they get to the level we want. But, right now, we are ready to face Rwanda,’’ he said.
Okon said he was also happy as the presence of only two out of the eight invited foreign-based players would make the difference in the team.
“To me, the players I have here are the foreign-based. Even though I invited eight players and only two were able to come, but all players here are foreign-based as far as I am concerned.
“They will give me the result I want, and I want to urge Nigerians to pray for the team.
“This is because, while we will do our part physically and technically, we also want spiritual support,’’ he said.
Okon, who is also the coach of Rivers Angels women football club of Port Harcourt, explained his reasons for mixing new players with old ones.
“We have to mix the old ones with the young ones so as to make them learn, because from my experience about other national teams, they mix up the younger and older players.
“This is to enable the older ones impart the knowledge they have to the new ones,’’ he said.
The captain of the team, Evelyn Nwabuoku, told NAN that the team would go to Rwanda to achieve an outright win.
“With determination and hard work, I am sure we will come out victorious. All I want is for my teammates to just score goals and not be wasteful,’’ Nwabuoku said.
Another player, Desire Oparanozie, who plays for Atasehir Belediyespor in Turkey, said the Falcons would not disappoint Nigerians in securing victory.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we are not going to Rwanda to come back without victory.
“Since I arrived (at the team’s camp from Turkey), we have been doing well, making sure that we put everything in order and do all what we need to do to come out victorious.
“We are not going to disappoint, although this is a new Super Falcons. But since I came in, I have seen a lot of determination in the new girls.
“So, I am sure that with what the coaches have taught us, we will be successful,’’ Oparanozie said.
The former under-20 women team player said the team’s strength was in its midfield and attack, and assured that it would give them an advantage over their Rwanda counterparts.
“We have our strength in the midfield and the attack as well, even though I am not writing the defence off as they are also good.
“But I think it is the duty of the midfielders and the attackers to finish up the game and make sure that the team come out victorious, and this is what we are going to do,” Oparanozie said.
NAN reports that the team will leave for Kigali in Rwanda on Wednesday, May 21 for the qualifiers’ first leg game scheduled for Saturday, May 24.
The return leg game will be played in Nigeria two weeks later.(NAN)