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Deborah Abiodun Still In Dreamland About World Cup Squad Inclusion



When unpopular Nigeria Coach Randy Waldrum released his Hit-list to prosecute the Women’s World Cup to commence in a few weeks time, few had expected that rookie midfielder Deborah Abiodun would make the cut.


In a midfield crowd that has such heavyweights like Ngozi Okobi, Regina Otu and up-and-coming flamboyant prospects like Esther Onyenezide, Taiwo Afolabi and versatile Mercy Idoko, the chance of Abiodun being selected was at a knife's edge .


But alas, whereas many were called, Deborah Abiodun was ultimately chosen.


"Impossibility is nothing!" posted a delighted Deborah Abiodun on social media.


"Still feels like a dream to me heading to my first senior FIFA Women's World Cup with Nigeria." She concluded with much joy in her heart.


In certain quarters, some fans have poured cold water on the legitimacy of Abiodun's inclusion. Other than the availability of other eye-catching options in midfield, the 19 year old Falconets graduate hasn't tasted much football since ditching the shores of Nigeria for college football in America (unlike others who have been active in club football; Abiodun's former U-20 colleagues recently participated in a gruelling inaugural U-20 Wafu tournament in her absence).


For me, her inclusion appears to have been a direct consequence of NFF's inability to open the camp earlier as requested by Coach Randy Waldrum.


"Because I didn't have time to train with the players for at least 2 weeks in Nigeria before travelling to Australia (to see which ones are in top form)," said Randy Waldrum paraphrased, "I simply released my final list of 23 players from the last players I worked with a few months ago."


That is not an ideal situation for the NFF to create, is it? It appears to have jeopardised the efforts of Waldrum to assemble the most capable and perhaps the most physically and mentally fit players for the mammoth tasks ahead.


Be that as it may, Abiodun is a quality player. She played with distinction in last year's Under-20 Women's World Cup. She is driven and passionate. On the pitch, the versatile midfielder is combative, progressive in her play with a keen eye for tactical details.


With the absence of Ayinde and Ajibade from the first game due to red card suspensions, Abiodun might well be thrown into the deep end from the off - I hope she is ready.


With 2 Super Falcons caps to her name against heavyweights United States and Japan, Abiodun should be unfazed.


If her under 20 performances are anything to go by, then Abiodun might well be a hidden asset for Nigeria in Australia.

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