Five Fabulous Dual Nationality Players Open To The Super Falcons
Although many fans do not recommend a massive overhaul to the Super Falcons team ahead of next years women's world cup, it will still be helpful to inject fresh faces in various departments of the team.
Additionally, I will not advocate the sacking of Randy Waldrum just because of the Super Falcons' miserable outing at the just concluded Wafcon where they finished empty-handed despite pre-tournament hype by the NFF and players themselves.
The world cup is a different kettle of fish and I think what is required is to mould the Super Falcons into an outfit that will be difficult to break down. If the NFF sacks Waldrum and brings in Guardiola and Kopp, I do not think even these gladiators will steer the Super Falcons to win the World Cup.
We need to be modest in our expectations.
With Waldrum and his capable assistant Lauren Gregg, I think - between them - they can fashion out a way of making the Super Falcons difficult to beat at the World Cup.
One thing about Waldrum that angers Super Falcons fans is his CV. Many fans question the wisdom of hiring a college coach for a national team that expects to leave its mark in major tournaments.
However, his assistant Lauren Gregg is more than capable.
She was twice the interim coach of the USA women's national team. She was assistant coach when USA demolished the Super Falcons 7-1 at the 1999 women's world cup on the way to winning the tournament.
Lauren also had a stint as the head coach of the USA Under-20 women's team.
I kind of think that Nigeria fans would have preferred her appointment as Super Falcons coach rather than Waldrum. But it is good to see that Waldrum consults her regularly during matches, so, her input definitely has weight with him.
So I believe between them, they can craft the Super Falcons into a team that will hold its own in Australia and New Zealand next year.
They just need to inject some fresh legs into the team and utilise a pragmatic formula that will make the best use of players at the disposal of the Super Falcons at this time.
And, make no mistake about it, there are some exciting prospects waiting to strut their stuff in Super Falcons colours.
Some of these are:
1. Roosa Ariyo: the 28 year old Finnish-Nigerian bulky centre forward is a battering ram in opposition box 18. She already has 1 cap for Nigeria against Jamaica last year.
If she remains active in the coming months, it will not be a bad idea to hand her a call up to some of the scheduled friendly matches.
2. Patricia George: the 25 year old American-Nigerian striker is another option for the Super Falcons upfront. She combines silky movements with a killer instinct in front of goal. George already has a cap for Nigeria against Uzbekistan last year.
If she remains fit and available, then Super Falcons consideration will not be a bad idea.
3. Onyinyechi Zogg: the 25 year old Swiss-Nigerian centre back should by now be in the later stages of her recovery from injury.
With the skill to sense danger and ability to execute appropriate defensive manoeuvres, Salome is a delightful sight to behold.
Once she becomes active, the national team handlers should definitely look her her way.
4. Onyi Echegini: I am truly excited about this 21 year old English-Nigerian winger/striker/midfielder.
She is such an exciting bundle of talent and she brings value to the Super Falcons in the way of her versatility and fluidity with the ball.
It took only a few minutes of a cameo against Canada this year for her to bend an audacious curler on goal.
If Onyi remains active and available then she should be tracked, monitored and invited.
5. Esther Okoronkwo: the 25 year old Abia born American based player is one of the most technically gifted center midfielders available to the Super Falcons at this time.
She is composed, cool, calm and collected with the ball in the middle of the park. Esther is progressive in her play with an eye to spot opening to deliver delicate passes.
I honestly don't know why she was overlooked for the just concluded Wafcon. Already with 3 caps against her name, I think Esther should be on the plane to Australia next year if she stays fit.
With too many exciting indigenous and dual nationality players to pick from, alongside tantalising prospects from the Falconets and Flamingos, Waldrum and Gregg have enough pool of quality players to pick from.
They have no excuse for lame insipid performances at the World Cup. They just need to be pragmatic and defensive (like Someone’s Atletico Madrid) in their approach against the bigger teams.
With that approach, the Super Falcons came within a whisker of defeating heavyweights Canada in their own backyard earlier this year.
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