The Nigeria national women’s team, Super Falcons, will Sunday evening begin their hunt for an astonishing eighth title at the Africa Women Cup of Nations, AWCON 2016.
The team will begin their campaign against Mali, and players and officials are keen to hit the ground running.
Nigeria’s coach Florence Omagbemi and captain Rita Chikwelu have both given assurances of a good outing in Sunday’s opener at the Limbe Omnisports Stadium.
Omagbemi, who is hugging a new challenge having captained the Super Falcons to winning four African titles, said she brought the best legs made of youth and experience to represent the country at the continental showpiece.
“My team is 100 per cent fit and ready. Everyone on the team – the 21 players we have and officials are ready for the game and we are set to start our campaign,” Omagbemi said in the pre-match conference.
“For now, we’ve brought the best to represent the country. When you have a tournament two years after and we play in 2016 – there is a transition in the team and as a coach you want to get the best players to represent the country.
“The combination of both – the ones that went to Namibia and the new ones that are here. This is not the first time some of them are playing together.
“Even the ones that are not here ,we still have the majority of our players that we took to Namibia, the experience and the new ones on the team, most of them have been on the national team for years.
“We have Mali, Ghana, Kenya in our group. Most of the teams played in the qualifiers. We are familiar with the Malian team and we have been able to get some report of the team.
“Just like the others teams are looking to get information about our own team. This is not the first time we’ve been playing the Mali team. We have good information about them and so we are good to go.
On her part, Skipper Chikwelu said she and her teammates are fully set and in high spirit to defend the continental crown they won at Namibia 2014 edition.
“We are ready to defend our title. And the team spirit is high and everybody is prepared for the tournament.
“We have a lot of committed players on the team and those of us who have been representing the country for years are eager to do the country proud.
“And the Nigerian spirit is just like we want to give all you got; and the commitment, that’s one of our major key.”