by Olorunwa Lawal
Head Coach of Nigeria’s under-20 female national team, the Falconets, Peter Dedevbo, has released his final list of 21 players for this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup finals, including Super Falcons’ ace Asisat Oshoala and former U-17 stars Patience Okaeme, Halimatu Ayinde, Jiroro Idike, Uchenna Kanu and Yetunde Adeboyejo.
There are three goalkeepers, seven defenders, five midfielders and six strikers in the squad that Dedevbo believes will stun the world in Canada.
Dedevbo, who steered the U-17 girls, Flamingoes, to the quarter finals at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 and in Azerbaijan in 2012, has also included US –based college star Courtney Dike, younger sister of Super Eagles’ forward Bright Dike.
The tall and spritely forward from Oklahoma State University is the only overseas –based player in the squad.
The team will depart for Moncton, Canada through Frankfurt in two batches aboard Lufthansa Airlines flight on Thursday and Friday, from Abuja.
Nigeria has featured in every edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, since the inaugural edition, also in Canada, in 2002. The Falconets reached the Final in Germany four years ago and also made the semi finals in Japan in 2012. This year, Dedevbo’s maidens will clash with Mexico, Korea Republic and England in Group C, with the first two games coming up in Moncton before they travel to Edmonton to slug it out with England.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Sandra Chiihii (Ibom Angels); Ibijoke Sangonuga (Inneh Queens); Chiudo Ehiudo (Delta Queens)
Defenders: Ebere Okoye (Nasarawa Amazons); Jiroro Idike (Delta Queens); Maryam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Sarah Nnodim (Delta Queens); Ugo Njoku (Rivers Angels); Victoria Aidelomon (Pelican Stars); Gladys Abasi (Ibom Angels)
Midfielders: Asisat Oshoala (Rivers Angels); Patience Okaeme (Delta Queens); Halimatu Ayinde (Delta Queens); Yetunde Adeboyejo (Bayelsa Queens); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Inneh Queens)
Forwards: Loveth Ayila (Makwada Babes); Courtney Dike (Oklahoma State University, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Pelican Stars); Yetunde Aluko (Sunshine Queens); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Pelican Stars); Uchechi Sunday (Rivers Angels)