BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Abuja –
Head Coach of the U-17 women national team, Flamingoes, Bala Nikyu will open camp this week as the girls begin preparations for next month’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia.
Nigeria will take on the Ethiopians in the first round of the African qualifying series of the sixth edition of the global competition, which debuted in New Zealand in 2008. The 2018 finals will be held in Uruguay.
“Nikyu and his assistants will open the team camp early next week. They know what is at stake and will give their best to raise a team that will do Nigeria proud not only in the qualifiers but the global championship proper,” Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, told thenff.com.
Nikyu’s assistants include former Nigerian international Toyin Ayinla who is the First Assistant Coach; Ajuma Peter Otache who is the Second Assistant Coach and; Christian Obi who is the Goalkeepers’ Trainer.
In a related development, the NFF Technical and Development Committee has appointed a new technical crew for five-time word champions, Golden Eaglets.
Abdullahi Maikaba will take over as Head Coach, with Abubakar Bala as First Assistant Coach; Oluwafunsho Bunmi Haruna as Second Assistant Coach and; Baruwa Abideen as goalkeepers’ trainer.
Haruna, a qualified coach before his appointment is a sport presenter with Nigeria Info 95.1FM Abuja.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sports, the talented sport presenter, popularly called the sports prime minister by his admirers, said, “It is a dream come true to be given the chance to work for Nigeria. I want to thank the NFF led by Amaju Pinnick for the chance they have given to me to build the future champions. I’m looking forward to working with the highly-rated and successful coaches like Coach Abdul Maikaba, Abubakar Bala and Baruwa Abideen. I want to thank FC Abuja also which gave me the opportunity to practice my profession. Nigeria is a very talented country and we have the capacity to produce talents that can dominate the world for decades. I’m happy to be appointed because over 400 coaches applied for this job and over 60 were interviewed.”
Nigeria won the FIFA Cadet World Cup (which debuted in China in 1985 as an U16 competition) in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.