EUCHARIA CALLS UP 40 FALCONS FOR WORLD CUP
SUPER Falcons' coach, Uche Eucharia, has invited 40 players for a special camping exercise to ascertain their readiness to make the squad for this year's FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Eight goalkeepers and 32 outfield players have been invited to the camp opening later this month. All members of the Falcons team that won the African Women's Championship (AWC) in South Africa last year were invited. Several foreign and home-based players, who were not in South Africa, were also called up.
Coach Uche told SuperSport.com that the exercise would help her immensely as she gets into the preliminary stages of her plans to prosecute a loaded World Cup programme. She said: 'This camping exercise is the first of its kind. I call it training and screening camp.
'It will help me see the level of fitness of the players that I will use for the World Cup. Those that were in South Africa and those that were not will have equal opportunities to fight for shirts.'
The camping exercise will last a forth night and Uche believes she will have a full house for the programme, stating: 'We missed some players at the AWC last year because their clubs refused to release them. There will be nothing like that this time because all the foreign-based players are currently on holidays here in Nigeria. That is why I chose to do this in January.'
Nigeria is pitted against Canada, France and world champion, Germany, in Group A of the World Cup, which begins in June. The Falcons were thrashed 0-8 by the Germans in an international friendly last November and Uche knows that only the best Nigerian lasses can withstand the serious examination sure to be provided by technically astute Central America and European opponents at the tourney.
'We need players who are physically strong and technically good. The camp will help us select the best players for Nigeria,' she said.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is presently in talks with authorities in England and Germany with regards to reaching an agreement for a foreign camp for the Falcons before the world Cup. NFF President, Aminu Maigari, told SuperSport.com: 'We want our girls to be well acclimatised to the weather conditions in Germany.
'We want the girls to be ready in all respects when the World Cup begins. We are talking to the necessary authorities and right now, we are set to select either Germany or England.'
Eucharia says she would prefer the team to camp in England 'because they have great facilities there.' Nigeria begins the campaign against France in Sisheim.