Former Falconets coach, Edwin Okon has shared his thoughts on Nigeria’s chances of qualifying from the group stage ahead of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France which begins on Sunday.
The current Rivers Angels head coach who spoke with ACLSports is quite confident that the Falconets can make it past the group stage despite what seems to be a tough draw.
“If we work hard we should be able to come out of that group. It is just a matter of determination,” he said.
With four of his girls in Rivers Angels – Nnadozie Chiamaka, Ologbosere Blessing, Ezekiel Blessing and Saiki Mary selected for the U20 World Cup in France, Edwin Okon thinks it was a well deserved gesture. “If the girls are not good, I don’t think they will be there,” he said.
“As long as I know, there are no sentiments concerning the final list in any World Cup. So I believe they are good and since they are there, my thinking and calculation is that they will give their best and represent the team they come from (Rivers Angels). And with the opportunity given to them I don’t think they will joke with it,” he adds.
He went further to assess the teams who have been drawn with the Falconets stating clearly that he expects the girls to qualify with China as the major threat.
“By the special grace of God, the coach – Christopher Danjuma was my assistant at the last U20 World Cup and he knows what is at stake. The only country I can say will pose a problem to the Falconets is China. I think China is the only problem we are having there (in the group), not even Germany,” he said emphatically.
“By the special grace of God, work goes according to plan. If we are serious as a team (which I know they are), we will qualify from that group. Very simple! Germany will not be a problem, and China will not be a problem too.”
Finally the former Super Falcons coach adds that we need to take it one step at a time concerning the expectations for the girls in France.
“For now, I don’t know who will be our next opponents when we qualify so let’s qualify first, then we will know how to go about it,” he posited.
The Falconets have now arrived in France and will play their first game of the tournament against Germany on Monday afternoon.