Dennerby Names Provisional Falcons Squad For Women’s World Cup

Nigeria’s woman football team head coach Thomas Dennerby gestures during a match between Niger and Nigeria in the second West African Football Union (WAFU) zone B women’s tournament at The Parcs des Sports in Abidjan on May 11, 2019.
ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

Nigeria coach Thomas Dennerby named a squad of 27 players for a final training camp in Austria ahead of next month’s women’s World Cup in France.

The bulk of the group is from the team who won a record 11th African women’s championship in Ghana last year.

Three-time African Player of the Year Asisat Oshoala from Barcelona who is set to feature in this weekend’s Champions League final as well as France-based striker Desire Oparanozie is in the squad.

The team will leave Abuja for Austria on May 20 for the Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf – the same facility where their male counterparts, the Super Eagles, had their final base before the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

READ ALSO: Champions League Glory Would Transform Tottenham – Pochettino

The Super Falcons will leave Austria on June 4 directly for Reims, where they open their World Cup campaign against Norway four days later.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels), Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens), Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels), Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens)

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo/SWE), Ngozi Ebere (Arna Bjornar/NOR), Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang/CHN), Josephine Chukwunonye (Kungsbacka/SWE), Faith Michael (Pitea/SWE), Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo)

Midfielders: Cecilia Nku (Ferencvaros/HUN), Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand/SWE), Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskiltuna United/SWE), Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels), Ogonna Chukwudi (Djurgardens/SWE), Halimatu Ayinde (Eskiltuna United/SWE), Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons)

Forwards: Desire Oparanozie (Guingamp/FRA), Anam Imo (Malmo/SWE), Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona/ESP), Chinaza Uchendu (Braga/POR); Uchenna Kanu (Southeastern University, USA), Rasheedat Ajibade (Alvadsnes/NOR), Francisca Ordega (Shanghai W. FC/CHN), Ini-Abasi Umotong (Brighton/ENG), Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels)

AFP

Falcons Coach Dennerby Invites 26 Players For WAFU Women’s Cup

December To Remember: Falcons Arrive In Abuja As Nigerians Praise Team
Super Falcons arrive in Abuja on December 2, 2018, after beating South Africa at the 2018 AWCON final. Photo: [email protected]

Super Falcon’s coach, Thomas Dennerby, has invited 26 players for the West African Football Union (WAFU) Women’s Cup Tournament in Abidjan, capital of Cote d’Ivoire.

The offer made to the players comes less than 2 weeks to the commencement of the regional competition.

Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defender Glory Ogbonna, midfielder Amarachi Okoronkwo and forward Alice Ogebe are among 26 invited players.

Veteran midfielder Osarenoma Igbinovia and forward Chioma Wogu have also been called, as well as former captain Evelyn Nwabuoku.

READ ALSO: Channels Kids Cup: 32 Schools Unveiled For Lagos Preliminaries

Goalkeepers Alaba Jonathan, Christy Ohiaeriaku and Chiamaka Nnadozie will contest for the number one position with Oluehi, who maintained her place among the sticks as the Falcons won a ninth African title in Ghana last year and has kept the position ever since.

All invited players have been asked to report to camp in Abuja on Sunday, 28th April as training sessions would commence on Monday, 29th April.

The tournament will begin on May 8 to 18 with the Super Falcons to play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Mali. Host nation Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Senegal, Togo and Ghana in Group A.

Channels TV Wins Aiteo-NFF Development Award

 

Channels Television has won the AITEO-Nigeria Football Federation award for the second consecutive year, for promoting football at the grassroots.

The Channels International Kids Cup, a corporate social responsibility programme of the TV station, started in 2009 as a Lagos state competition and has evolved into an international event featuring participants from the Benin Republic and Ghana.

The tournament received the development award at the maiden edition of the NFF awards for constantly improving on the objective of discovering and nurturing young talents under the age of 13 in primary schools.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and Super Falcons’ opposite number Onome Ebi took the big gongs at the second edition of the awards that held in Lagos on Monday night.

Among the winners were Super Falcons’ coach Thomas Dennerby, Super Eagles’ ace winger Samuel Chukwueze and Enugu Rangers’ coach Olugbenga Ogunbote.

The project started only last year, but, like the first edition, dignitaries and guests came from all over Africa and other parts of the world.

The highlight of the night, by miles, was the special recognition of the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994 – the squad widely nicknamed ‘Golden Generation’ after qualifying Nigeria for her first ever FIFA World Cup finals, winning the Africa Cup of Nations on away soil for the first time and coming within 100 seconds of a quarter-final place at the World Cup in the United States of America.

Physically present and bathed in applause were goalkeepers Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu, defenders Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Nduka Ugbade and Taribo West, midfielders Mutiu Adepoju, Austin ‘JJ’ Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Edema Fuludu and forwards Finidi George, Samson Siasia and Daniel Amokachi. Omoyemi Yekini, daughter of the ‘goalsfather’ Rashidi Yekini, stood in for her late father as well as the four others who had passed on: team Captain Stephen Keshi, goalkeeper Wilfred Agbonavbare, defender Uche Okafor and midfielder Thompson Oliha.

READ ALSO: Five Things We Learned In European Football This Weekend

Emmanuel Amuneke, Michael Emenalo, Emeka Ezeugo, Efan Ekoku, Isaac Semitoje and Chidi Nwanu could not make it down to Nigeria for the ceremony. While a couple of the players present on Monday night did not make the final cut for the World Cup in America, six members of the group went ahead to join the Dream Team and return to America to conquer – by winning Africa’s men’s football gold at the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta two years later.

Secretary-General of FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura (the first African/first woman to occupy the position) was honoured with the NFF Order of Merit Award, as Presidents of 18 Member Associations of FIFA, the Abia State Governor (Chief Okezie Ikpeazu), the Acting Governor of Edo State (Comrade Philip Shaibu), two Governors-elect (Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State) and captains of industry, political juggernauts, A-class artistes and heavyweight stakeholders of the game watched at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of the NFF Congress and chairman of various Clubs were also in attendance.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation and First Vice President of CAF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, once more eulogized the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for providing the conducive environment for football to thrive and for total support for the NFF and the various National Teams, while calling on Nigeria’s other billionaires and well-heeled companies to emulate AITEO Group and boost the development of football in Nigeria.

Business mogul and politician, Chief M. K. O. Abiola was honoured with the NFF Presidential Award, while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his hefty support for football projects and programs of the National Teams.

There were several members of the CAF Executive Committee, namely Dr Danny Jordaan of South Africa, Suleiman Waberi of Djibouti, Aisha Johansen of Sierra Leone, Moses Magogo of Uganda and Sita Sangare of Burkina Faso.  All noted the good and great works that Samoura, who spent 21 years working for the United Nations, has been doing as chief accounting officer of FIFA since she assumed office three years ago.

NFF First Vice President and Chairman of the Awards organizing committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi said the Federation decided it was apt to honour the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994, 25 years to their AFCON –winning exploits and FIFA World Cup performance. It would be recalled that Nigeria was named the second most entertaining team of the USA 1994 World Cup.

Responding on behalf of the 1994 Eagles, defender Austin Eguavoen expressed deep appreciation of the squad to the NFF for the honour, while also using the opportunity to plead that NFF should help the players pursue the Federal Government’s promise of a house for each member of the squad, following the AFCON triumph in Tunisia 25 years ago.

2ND AITEO-NFF AWARDS WINNERS

Young Player of the Year (Female): Anam Imo

Young Player of the Year (Male): Samuel Chukwueze

Fair Play Award: Akwa United FC

Fans of the Season: Kano Pillars FC Fans

Coach of the Year (Female): Thomas Dennerby

Coach of the Year (Male): Olugbenga Ogunbote

Goal of the Year: Ahmed Musa

Team of the Season: Super Falcons

NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels International Kids’ Cup)

Special Recognition: Super Eagles of 1994                           

Lifetime Achievement Award: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

NFF Presidential Award: Chief M.K.O Abiola (of blessed memory)

NFF Order of Merit Award: Fatma Samoura

Player of the Year (Female): Onome Ebi

Player of the Year (Male): Ahmed Musa

Women’s World Cup: Dennerby Promises Selection Will Be On Merit

Nigeria’s Super Falcons Photo credit: Premium Times

 

Super Falcons’s Head Coach, Thomas Dennerby has confirmed that the players who will feature at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France will be selected on merit.

The coach who is delighted with the maximum support of the Nigeria Football Federation for his entire programme ahead of the World Cup, insisted that in order to select the best players, there is need to give as many good players as possible the opportunity to show what they can do.

“We have different targets, of course. The first target is to find really good players that will be in the first list that we will send to FIFA. We have to be very sure we have the right players. It’s very important that you are one hundred per cent sure that you have picked the ones that you really want. Also, we have a camp in Spain at the beginning of April where we will play the Canada Women National team and it is very important that some of the players in this camp come to Spain.”

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Dennerby, who led the domestic players to third place finish in the maiden edition of the WAFU Cup Tournament in 2018, noted that some of the players will leave the team eventually and the domestic camp offers opportunity to know who has the ability.

“Soon, we probably need to change some of the players in the National Team and when the time comes we have to know who is best suitable. There is a lot of good reason for having the domestic camp.”

The Nigeria Football Federation has availed the Super Falcons with the opportunity of playing six games so far this year in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in France.

Speaking on the team’s preparation so far, Dennerby insisted the team has been getting better with every game, expressing hope that they will have a good performance at the World Cup.

“If you look at the first game we played this year in China against the Chinese Women National team, we had a good first half but the players became tired in the second half and I know the reason for that. However, having observed that Romanian defenders were slow from their first game, we tried to supply our attackers faster in the second game and won 4-1.

“Coming to Cyprus, with the good quality of the opponents we showed some improvement from the first tournament. We were unlucky in the first game against Austria with a player (goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi) picking a red card in the 6th minute. We played with only ten players for 84 minutes but we really did well in the game. The girls showed a lot of good attitude. But the good thing is that we got two wins in Cyprus and the girls showed strong attitude, they were quick, nice running, hardworking, good decision –making and all these are necessary to boost their confidence.”

The 2019 Women’s World Cup will begin on June the 7th and run till July the 7th in France. Nigeria will play in group A with hosts France, Korea Republic and Norway.

NFF Unveils Dennerby As Super Falcons Coach

The Nigeria Football Federation has unveiled Mr. Thomas Dennerby, a former Coach of the Women’s National Team of Sweden, as Head Coach of the Super Falcons.

Dennerby won 34 caps for Swedish junior teams between 1975 and 1981 and coached the Swedish Women’s Senior Team between 2005 and 2012, during which the team played at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2007 and 2011 FIFA World Cup finals, winning bronze at the latter tournament. More recently, he did scouting and analyses for the Swedish FA at the 2013 and 2017 European Championships, the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Dennerby and his assistant, Jorgen Petersson will be working with the following Nigerian assistants: Oni Olanrewaju Wemimo (Assistant Coach); Maureen Mmadu (Assistant Coach); Taiwo Omobolanle Tundun (Goalkeepers’ Trainer 1) and; Precious Dede (Goalkeepers’ Trainer 2).

Dennerby’s assistant, Petersson, has worked with several top Swedish clubs and was assistant coach of the Swedish U23 women team between 2006-2012.

In announcing Dennerby’s appointment last week, NFF’s 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategy, Shehu Dikko, said: “The NFF decided to go for a coach of the calibre of Thomas Dennerby for three reasons: to sustain and enhance the Super Falcons’ dominance on the African scene; to take the Falcons and the other women teams to the next level of challenging for laurels at global competitions like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and; to generally lay the foundation for the real development of women’s football in our country.”

At the unveiling ceremony which took place at the Conference Centre of the National Stadium Complex, Abuja, the NFF confirmed that Dennerby’s contract will last till after the 2020 Olympics in the initial, with the right for automatic renewal subject to meeting of performance milestones.

Before then, the Swede will have the opportunity to prove himself at the 2018 and 2020 Women Africa Cup of Nations competitions, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals and the Women’s Football Tournament of the Tokyo Olympics.

The new coach, Dennerby said: “I am ready for the opportunity and the challenge of working with an amazing team like the Super Falcons. I believe we can all work together to close the gap between them and the big women football –playing nations of the world.

“I believe in hard work. I am happy to be here and we are going to work together for the success of the team. Every individual player of the team is important, but the cohesion of the team is paramount. I will be placing a serious demand on the players to give their best in training, physical fitness and in every competition. My philosophy is to develop the players and to work with the backroom staff.”

On her part, Chairman of NFF Women’s Football Committee, Honourable Ayo Omidiran expressed belief that the appointment of Dennerby was well –thought –out and she expects a turn –around in the fortunes of the Super Falcons at major championships.

Work will commence immediately for the new crew as the Falcons will compete in the 8 –Nation WAFU Women Cup of Nations taking place in Cote d’Ivoire between Febraury 10 and 24, 2018.

NFF Appoints Dennerby As Super Falcons Coach

Thomas Dennerby

 

The Nigeria Football Federation has signed an agreement with top Swedish football coach, Thomas Dennerby, to take the role of Head Coach of eight-time African champions, Super Falcons.

The contract also enables Dennerby to come into the job with an assistant, Mr. Jorgen Petersson, another highly experienced Swedish coach nominated by Dennerby himself.

Dennerby spent nine years with Hammarby IF of Allsvesnkan and played in the European Cup in 1983 and 1985, won 34 caps for Swedish junior teams between 1975 and 1981. He coached the Swedish Women’s Senior Team between 2005 and 2012, during which the team played at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2007 and 2011 FIFA World Cup finals, winning bronze at the latter tournament. He also served time as youth coach for Stockholm FA and worked in various capacities for former club Hammarby between 1993 and 2001.

More recently, he did scouting and analysis for the Swedish FA at the 2013 and 2017 European Championships, the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Dennerby’s assistant, Petersson has worked with several top Swedish clubs including Moheda IF, Osters IF, Vaxjo, Alvesta Golf, IFK Varmamo, Malmo FF, Kalmar FF and Linkopings FC, was assistant coach of the Swedish U23 women team between 2006-2012 and scouted for the Swedish women national team at last year’s European Championship.

The appointment is in line with the pledge made by NFF President Amaju Pinnick to get a world-class coach to take the Super Falcons and other women national teams to the next level (of competing creditably and for laurels at global championships), and who would also work assiduously with the Federation to ensure robust development of women football in Nigeria.

Pinnick expressed delight that the process had gone smoothly and assured the coaches of a conducive working environment to achieve the set milestones.

“The NFF decided to go for a coach of the calibre of Thomas Dennerby for three reasons: to sustain and enhance the Super Falcons’ dominance on the African scene; to take the Falcons and the other women teams to the next level of challenging for laurels at global competitions like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and; to generally lay the foundation for the real development of women’s football in our country.”

According to the NFF, the three coaches who will work with Dennerby and Petersson will be announced soon.