By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Former Super Falcons coach and current Rivers Angels gaffer, Edwin Okon is advocating for the huge inclusion of players from the Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL in the Super Falcons radar. He vouched for the strong and competitive nature of the league during an interview on Nigeria Info FM’s Game On.
“The Nigerian Women’s League is very strong for many years now. Even if one is to think about any player that can represent the country within the domestic league, you can as well get up to 30 to 35 players that can represent the country and represent well. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that I took the team to, I traveled with about four or five professionals. The rest were home-based. It was after that tournament that the likes of Ngozi Okobi, Desire Oparanozie, and Asisat Oshoala came into prominence. Dedication and hard work are very important. It is not easy for a team to get to the final of the Aiteo Cup or Super 4. Players in the league should be given that chance and exposure to represent their country”. He said.
“There are so many Nigerians out there that are looking for the opportunity to become Super Falcons coach. At that level, one just needs to work hard.”
Okon took Super Falcons to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the team failed to make it out of the group stage. He spoke on his experience at the tournament.
“At that level, I was one of the happiest men in the world. We planned to get to the quarter-final, but we couldn’t achieve that at the 2015 World Cup. I am grateful to the players because they did marvelously well. It was just a case of loss of concentration that didn’t make us get to the quarter-final. It was a great experience for me and the players.”
The winner of the 2014 African Women’s Championship said that Super Falcons is enjoying from the pull of players that he raised from Under 20 level as no new player has been introduced since that time.
“Florence Omagbemi and Thomas Dennerby achieved their feat from the players that we left behind in the team. I can say that right from that year till now, new players have not been introduced to the team. The players that were with me right from Under 20 are the players that the coaches are still using as at now.” He concluded.
Edwin Okon guided Rivers Angels to 2018-2019 Nigeria Women Premier League, NWPL trophy with 1-0 victory over Confluence Queens in the final of the Super 4 tournament at Soccer Temple, Agege, Lagos.
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