Desire Oparanozie and Ebere Orji have returned to the Super Falcons squad in preparation for the Aisha Buhari Cup.
Super Falcons handler, Randy Waldrum also gave first invitation to Ijeh sisters and Leicester City’s Megan Ashleigh to be part of the nine –time African champions squad for the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament.
The Nigerian ladies arrived in the Austrian capital, Vienna for an 8-day training camp as part of intense preparations for the six-nation invitational that will see the Super Falcons, Ghana’s Black Queens, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses, Banyana Banyana of South Africa, Morocco, and Mali tango in a celebratory atmosphere in September for a glittering trophy named in honour of Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr (Mrs) Aisha Buhari.
A total of 26 players, alongside technical and administrative staff, are ensconced at the Event Hotel Pyramide Vienna for the purpose of total concentration as Coach Randy Waldrum seeks to harness the different qualities and abilities of individual players to conflate a better and stronger team.
New faces have continued to emerge in the camp of the Super Falcons as Coach Waldrum’s roving lenses have been picking up Nigeria-eligible dames from across the globe to strengthen the squad.
Before the Summer Series tour of the United States of America in June, where the Falcons drew with Portugal and lost narrowly to Jamaica and hosts USWNT, few Nigerian ball fans had heard of Yewande Balogun, Onyinyechi Zogg, Nicole Payne and Michelle Alozie. But they formed part of a group that bonded fabulously with foreign-based and home-based professionals and presaged an interesting future for the Falcons.
Nigeria is in the Club of only seven countries that have qualified for and participated at every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals since the competition was launched in 1991, and has also featured in three Olympic Games.
The camp in Austria is the third gathering that the Nigeria Football Federation has arranged for the Super Falcons this year, following an interesting three-wins-out-three account at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya in February and the Summer Series in the USA last month.
First –choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, midfield impresario Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and forward Uchenna Kanu, who all missed the tour of USA for one reason or the other, are in Austria. There is also a return for former captain Desire Oparanozie as well as fellow forward Ebere Orji.