Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, is pleased with the preparation of the Super Falcons during their training session ahead of their 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign opener against Canada on July 21.
Nigeria is in Group B with co-hosts Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland in their ninth appearance at the World Cup. Having not missed any of the previous editions of the tournament, the team is out to make a statement with an improved performance in Australia and New Zealand.
Nigeria’s best performance at the World Cup was reaching the quarter-finals in 1999.
As they gear up to face one of the group favourites next week, head coach Waldrum praised Barcelona Femeni superstar Asisat Oshoala and revealed that he was particularly pleased with the training performances of Ifeoma Onumonu, Michelle Alozie, and 19-year-old Deborah Abiodun.
“Well, as I said last week, I’m happy with the way training has gone. I think every day the effort has been there from everyone. I don’t know that I could single out any players particularly that’s been better, I think they’ve all been good, but I think Ifeoma (Onumonu) has looked really fit and sharp. Michelle Alozie has looked really sharp and fit, which you would expect during the middle of their seasons.
“I think a young player like Deborah (Abiodun) has looked really good in training as well. And then those that are just always solid, you know, like Osinachi (Ohale), Tony Payne and Asisat (Oshoala), those guys, they’ve all been just very, very solid in the way they’re performing. So I’m really pleased with the team and especially these last eight days now that we’ve had to train and prepare,” he said.
The 66-year-old revealed that they had trained in a scenario where they would be facing Canada the next day.
“Well, today’s session is the game day minus one, so the day before match training. So it’s just some technical work at the beginning, and then we did some breakout play, working on a little bit of our countering. And then everything was set piece, it was a set piece day, just going through all defending corners, attacking corners, free kicks, that kind of thing. Not high intensity, but the things that you always would normally do the day before a match,” Waldrum said.
Nigeria begin its campaign against Canada Friday, July 21 before filing out against Australia on July 27 and the Republic of Ireland on July 31.