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NFF: Flamingoes work in progress

12 February 2014, 18:05

Abuja - Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Director, Emmanuel Ikpeme, has said the under- 17 women’s national team, the Flamingoes, are still a work in progress ahead of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Ikpeme told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the Flamingoes could do better than their 5-1 win over Ghana in the course of two friendly matches.

The Flamingoes defeated their Ghanaian counterparts 3-0 in Abuja and 2-1 in Accra in a friendly, as both teams prepared for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

“It goes without saying that they have started having confidence in view of what they played in Ghana. Not just the first leg here, but outside, because that is the most important one, when you travel out and play, that is when one can properly assess you (to know) how good you are.

“So, I think there is hope based on what they have just done, that we have got a team; but that is not to say that we are there yet. We still have a lot of work to do especially in the area of shooting, because from what we saw in Ghana, they really had no problem entering the Ghanaians’ 18 (vital area) box, but the issue was shooting”.

“I guess the coaches have seen that, I think they are going to be working on that.  We are working on them to ensure that they have a good outing in Costa Rica.”

Ikpeme said Nigeria’s opponents at the group stage should not pose problems for the Flamingoes owing to the girls’ adequate preparation for the mundial.

“As a person, I don’t look at teams that may cause a problem or not cause a problem. The truth of the matter is that for any team to qualify for any FIFA-organised competition, that team is as well as good. What bothers any federation is how you prepare your team and I think that is the most critical aspect.

“Our business is to make sure we train these girls, give them conducive environment and adequate preparations in terms of ensuring that they get quality friendly matches. Fortunately, we can also say that we have a good coaching crew that is the most important thing, which can impart what is expected in terms of the techniques and tactical aspects of the game.”

The team had been in camp since January 6, playing local friendly matches preparatory to the Women’s World Cup scheduled to hold from March 15 to April 4.

The team are expected to proceed on a three-week training tour to Faro in Portugal to finalise their preparations for the World Cup.

Flamingoes are drawn in Group D with Mexico, China, and Colombia.


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