Contrary to permutations in some quarters that the Flamingoes may be the weeping boy’ of their group at the FIFA U-17 Women world cup after being drawn in a tough group, coach Bankole Olowookere says the team stands a good chance.
According to Olowookere who has been in camp in Abuja with the girls since August, the level of training and concentration by the team all point to a good show at the tournament billed for October 11-30.
Nigeria will play in Group B which also has Germany, Chile, and New Zealand, a draw which some analysts say will be a hard nut for the Flamingoes to crack even as they noted they noted that in football anything can happen.
“We have been working very hard and playing a series of warm-up games and the response to training and game plan by the girls is what is giving me the optimism that we are going to India to do well. I know our group is a very difficult one with Germany, New Zealand, and Chile, but we will try and qualify for the knockout stage and forge ahead,” Olowookere told Completesports.com.
“I won’t say we are ready now but with the planned training tour proposed by the NFF and a little more tactical tweak in the way we played in the qualifying matches, we shall be a big threat to any country in India. I hope to trim the team to competition size before we travel probably next week.”
Asked how much he knows about Nigeria’s group opponents, Olowookere confessed: “I don’t know much, but the little we know we are working on. I hope to get clips of some of their qualifying matches to prepare for every game. We shall respect all our opponents, but we shall not fear them”
All things being equal, Flamingos will camp in Turkey for one week where they are expected to play one or two friendly matches before jetting to India for the 2022 competition.