Oparanozie back to Super Falcons as team hits Austria for Aisha Buhari tourney

A contingent of nine-time African champions Nigeria has arrived in the Austrian capital, Vienna for an 8-day training camp as part of intense preparations for some upcoming challenges, most notably the

Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament.

The City of Lagos will host the six-nation invitational that will see the Super Falcons, Ghana’s Black Queens, Cameroon’s Indomitable

Lionesses, Banyana Banyana of South Africa, Morocco and Mali play in the month of September for a trophy named in honour of Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.

The Nigeria Football Federation confirmed that a total of 26 players, alongside technical and administrative staff, “are at the Event Hotel Pyramide Vienna for the purpose of total concentration as Coach Randy Waldrum seeks to harness the different qualities and abilities of individual players to conflate a better and stronger team.”

New faces have continued to join the camp of the Super Falcons like Yewande Balogun, Onyinyechi Zogg, Nicole Payne and Michelle Alozie.

Waldrum has also unearthed even more prospects as the Ijeh sisters

(Josephine and Evelyn), Megan Ashleigh and Ninuola Dada are part of the training camp in Austria, even as England-based forward Ini-Abasi Umotong makes a return to the fold of the perennial African champions.

The camp in Austria is the third gathering that the Nigeria Football Federation has arranged for the Super Falcons this year, following an interesting three-wins-out-three account at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya in February and the Summer Series in the USA last month.

There is also a return for former captain Desire Oparanozie as well as fellow forward Ebere Orji. First-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, midfield impresario Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and forward Uchenna Kanu, who all missed the tour of USA for one reason or the other, are in Austria.  

Super Falcons in Austria

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (CD Pozoalbense, Spain); Chiamaka

Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Patience Okeke (Bayelsa Queens); Yewande Balogun (California Storm, USA)

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Osinachi Ohale (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Onyinyechi Zogg (FC Zurich, Switzerland); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash Reserves, USA); Megan Ashleigh (Leicester City, England); Josephine Ijeh (BK Hacken, Sweden).

Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna United, Sweden); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Mowaninuola Dada (Watford FC, England).

Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Francisca Ordega (Levante UD, Spain); Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens); Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens); Uchenna Kanu (Linkopings FC, Sweden); Ebere Orji (Sundsvall DFF, Sweden); Ini-Abasi Umotong (Lewes FC, England); Evelyn Ijeh (BK Hacken, Sweden); Desire Oparanozie (FC Dijon, France).