The Nigerian national senior female football team, Super Falcons, have opened their training camp in Abuja, the nation’s capital ahead of the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations billed for Morocco.
Nigeria head into the 12th edition of the tournament as defending champions with Head Coach Randy Waldrum; who will be in the technical area of his first AWCON, and his assistants with a blend of experienced legs, newcomers, and talented youngsters from home and abroad.
Of the 32 players invited before the final selection of the squad which will compete in Morocco, only 19 have reported to camp by Friday morning.
Some of the players in camp include captain Onome Ebi, alongside goalkeepers Chiamaka Nnadozie and Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Osinachi Ohale and Akudo Ogbonna, midfielders Rita Chikwelu and Atlético Madrid star Rasheedat Ajibade, and forwards Asisat Oshoala and Gift Monday.
US-based goalkeeper Yewande Balogun, defender Michelle Alozie and midfielders Amanda Mbadi and Toni Payne are still expected in camp on Friday.
Forwards Desire Oparanozie and Uchenna Kanu, as well as midfielder Regina Otu and US-based defender Nicole Payne will arrive in Abuja by the weekend.
Leicester City defender Ashleigh Plumptre, midfielder Halimatu Ayinde and forwards Francisca Ordega, Vivian Ikechukwu and Ifeoma Onumonu are expected to join the squad in Morocco in the coming week.
En route to the biggest women’s tournament on the continent, the Super Falcons defeated fierce rivals Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to clinch a spot in Morocco.
Nigeria, who are nine-time champions, will face rivals, South Africa, in their first group stage match at the Prince Heritier Moulay Hassan Stadium in Rabat on Monday, July 4, then Botswana on July 7, and Burundi on July 10, at the same venue.
The semi-finalists in Morocco automatically qualify to represent Africa at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.
PLAYERS IN CAMP
Onome Ebi, Rita Chikwelu, Osinachi Ohale, Tochukwu Oluehi, Glory Ogbonna, Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Chidinma Okeke, Rita Akarekor, Gift Monday, Opeyemi Sunday, Charity Adule, Christy Ucheibe, Suliat Abideen, Chinonyerem Macleans, Peace Efih, Ugochi Emenayo, Akudo Ogbonna
Yewande Balogun, Toni Oyedupe Payne, Michelle Alozie, Amanda Uju Mbadi
EXPECTED BY WEEKEND
Nicole Payne, Uchenna Kanu, Desire Oparanozie, Regina Otu
TO JOIN TEAM IN MOROCCO
Ashleigh Plumptre, Francisca Ordega, Vivian Ikechukwu, Halimatu Ayinde, Ifeoma Onumonu