BY JUDE OPARA, Abuja
Despite his inability to lead the senior women national team, the Super Falcons to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as not winning any medal at the just concluded Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo, acting head coach of the team, Christopher Danjuma insists he is the most qualified man to handle the team.
Danjuma who also told Sports Vanguard in Abuja yesterday that he takes responsibility for the outcome of the championships said he has identified the flaws that led to the sudden slide of the African champions in recent times.
According to him, what the team, needs at the moment is to begin to build a new team that will be mainly populated by players plying their trade in the local league since it has always been difficult to secure the release of some of the girls abroad, especially when some of the competitions like the just ended AAG does not fall within the approved FIFA window.
“Let me start by saying that I take full responsibility for the poor showings of the Super Falcons in recent times and I want to apologise to all Nigerians for the let down. Our focus was to win and make Nigeria proud but due to some lapses which we have noticed we could not make it. The issue of blending was very critical because since most of the girls play abroad, their clubs don’t always release them on time and by the time they arrive from various countries with various playing pattern it is not easy for them to blend.
“What we intend to do now is to begin to build a team where the absence of one or two players will no longer pose a challenge for the team because we must have to get well talented players from the local league to form the bedrock of the national team.
“And talking about the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) advertising the position of the Chief Coach of the Super Falcons, I don’t see anything wrong with that because I have been acting since the sack of Edwin Okon. But let me state that I will apply for the job because I still believe that I am the most qualified to handle the team because I have been with most of the girls since their U-17 days, so I know them more than any other person.”
Danjuma also argued that with the dominance of Nigeria over the rest of Africa over the years, the other countries will certainly do everything within their powers to dethrone the team hence the urgent need for the Super Falcons to begin to emulate European countries by increasing the level of mental and technical capacity of the players.