Paris 2024: S’Falcons’ Camp Bubbles with 14 Players in Training

Nigeria’s Super Falcons have kickstarted preparations for their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years, as their camp in the city of Jerez de la Frontera outside Sevilla has come alive with most of the invited players in camp.

With 12 players at breakfast yesterday, Team Administrator, Mary Oboduku told that two more players arrived later in the evening and joined the rest of the squad at team’s Hotel Barceló Montecastillo Golf and Resort. 

“We started training on Sunday, and the camp is calm. The players are in very high spirits as they look forward to the tournament in France,” Oboduku she remarked.

Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade and first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie are at the head of the squad already in camp, with goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Chidinma Okeke and Nicole Payne, midfielders Christy Ucheibe, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun and Jennifer Echegini, and forward Esther Okoronkwo also in. Alternate players, goalkeeper Morufa Ademola and forward Gift Monday are also in camp.

Defenders Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie were being expected at the team’s hotel Monday afternoon.

The nine-time African champions, who last played at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, will take on reigning Olympic champions Canada in a training match in Sevilla on Wednesday, 17th July.

Canada’s ladies defeated their counterparts from Sweden 3-2 after a penalty shootout, following a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, to clinch the gold medal in Tokyo three years ago.

In their last outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, the Falcons lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medalists Brazil.

Women’s football debuted at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1996, but the Super Falcons entered in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medalists USA. Perpetua Nkwocha scored the lone goal against China while Mercy Akide was the scorer against both Norway and USA.

Nigeria’s best outing – so far – at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament was in Athens 20 years ago, where the Super Falcons finished in 6th place after exiting the tournament in the quarter-finals.

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