15th September, 2010
Eucharia Uche, Chief Coach of the Super Falcons is preparing the team for the 2010 AfricaÂ Women Championship scheduled to hold in South Africa later in the year.Â She spoke to SUNDAYÂ AKINTOYE about her assignment and the performance of the Flamingoes at the on going FIFAÂ U-17 Women World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago.
How would you rate the performance of the Flamingoes at the on going FIFA U-17 Women WorldÂ Cup in Trinidad &Tobago?
I must confess to you that the Flamingoes are a delight to watch in all the three matchesÂ played so far. This is to tell you that Nigeria’s female football is forced to be reckonedÂ with in the World. I think the team can make the final because the players are determinedÂ and focused to go beyond the quarter final stage.
Do you see the Flamingoes reaching the final?
With what I saw in their previous matches, they can reach the final or possibly win theÂ trophy. The only country that may give Nigeria some problem is Germany and I donâ€™t thinkÂ they will meet until the final.
Nigeria will meet Korea Republic in one of the quarter final matches, what are yourÂ expectations?
I donâ€™t see Korea as a stumbling block for the progress of Nigeria. Actually, Korea willÂ play a fast game to get early goals in the first half. If Nigeria can curtail their moves inÂ the first half or possibly score them first, the Koreans would be confused. I think NigeriaÂ need to cage the pacy Koreans. If they can do that, Nigeria will come out victorious at theÂ end of the day.
Which area do you think Nigeria need to improve?
The team are fortified in all departments. The only area I feel the coach should reorganiseÂ is the defence. The coach should caution his defenders to avoid unnecessary foul becauseÂ some countries take advantage of set pieces, which could cost the Flamingoes. The team’sÂ midfield and attack are good for now. I donâ€™t think we have much problem in the team.
Will you invite any of the players to the national team?
I have a bunch of good players in camp that are excellently good. It will be difficult forÂ me to invite some players in the Flamingoes to the senior national team. The only playerÂ that was invited before the FIFA U-17 Women World Cup started is Francisca Ordega. By theÂ time the championship is over, Ordega will join us in camp if she does not show signs ofÂ fatigue.
How are you preparing for the Nations Cup slated for South Africa?
We started our training yesterday. Thirty one players trained were part of the exercise andÂ I’m impressed with their response.
When will you announceÂ Â your final squad?
I don’t know for now because the foreign-based players are yet to join us. Most of theÂ players that are training now are home based-players and the foreign based-players must joinÂ us in October before we embark on training tour of Canada.
Which country would Nigeria play friendly matches with in Canada?
We are going to play against USA and Canada senior teams as part of our build up ahead ofÂ the African Women Championship. So, my final team list will come out after we have playedÂ some international friendlies to test the players.
What are the challenges facing the Super Falcons?
We donâ€™t have much problems for now. We have enough facilities to train. We have beenÂ training on the FIFA Goal Project astro turf. I think the players are in good condition andÂ motivated by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.