The National Women’s football team, Super Falcons on Wednesday departed for Saalfelden, Austria, venue of a four-week training camp that will usher the African champions into the 6th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals starting in Germany next month.
A team of 16 players and the full technical and administrative crew flew out of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday night aboard a Lufthansa Airline flight, with intensive drills and quality friendly matches to look ahead to.
There will be 26 players at the training camp, with nine foreign-based professionals set to join up from different parts of Europe and midfielder Evelyn Nwabuoku billed to re-unite with the group in Europe whenever she gets her visa.
Nigeria play France in their first match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sinsheim on 26th June, with games against hosts Germany in Frankfurt on 30th June and against Canada in Dresden to follow in Group A.
Shock defeat in the hands of Ghana’s Black Queens that meant elimination from the 10th All-Africa Games scheduled for Mozambique in September has been a sort of rude awakening, and NFF President Aminu Maigari on Wednesday instructed officials to ensure everything that is necessary is done to prepare the team adequately for the global showpiece.
Those who travelled from Abuja on Wednesday night included goalkeepers Precious Dede, Alaba Jonathan, Tochukwu Oluehi and Ogochukwu Kenechukwu, defenders Josephine Chukwunonye, Onome Ebi, Blessing Edoho, Osinachi Ohale, midfielders Esther Sunday, Francisca Ordega, Ebere Orji, Rebecca Kalu and Glory Iroka, and forwards Amenze Aighewi, Stella Mbachu and Desire Oparanozie.
Defenders Faith Ikidi, Ulunma Jerome and Helen Ukaonu, midfielders Uchechi Sunday, Emueje Ogbiagbevha, Ogonna Chukwudi and Rita Chikwelu and forwards Sarah Michael and Perpetua Nkwocha will join the squad in Austria.
The officials are: Eucharia Uche (Head Coach), Bala Nikyu (Asst. Coach), Bala Mohammed (Asst. Coach), Thomas Obliers (Technical Assistant), Omoye Akhigbe (Team Doctor), Chichi Okere (Physiotherapist), Ruth David (Secretary) and Mary Oboduku (Equipment Manager).