Nwankwo Wants To Return To S’Eagles
Crotone striker, Simy Nwankwo says he is looking forward to making a return to the Nigerian national team in the nearest future.
Simy played a pivotal role as Crotone secured promotion to the Italian Serie A.
The 28-year-old netted 20 league goals to emerge the 2019/20 Serie B top-scorer.
He had his most prolific season as a professional last term after scoring 21 goals in all competitions for Crotone – one more than the 20-goal record he has when he was playing in Gil Vincente of Portugal.
Simy last featured for the Super Eagles in an AFCON qualifying fixture against Seychelles in September 2018 and he feels his form could earn him a recall to the team.
“When I went down, I knew the risks of losing that spot that I worked so hard to get to although I didn’t play more, which is perfectly understandable,” Nwankwo told ESPN.
“I met a team that was already structured with one of the best African strikers at the moment – Odion Ighalo. And it was normal, it was perfect for me to stay calm and learn and then watch how things are done. And then all of a sudden, I found myself out again, which is understandable.”
“No grudges on anyone. I understand every situation because the national team of Nigeria is highly rated. So, if you want to be in the national team, you have to be in the big leagues. That I can understand.”
“So now we are back up. I just have to focus, like always, on what I will do here. The only way I will get myself into the national team is about what I do here.”
“This season, I’ve done well. That puts me in a good window to be looked into by the coaches and everybody that makes the decisions. I hope that in the future I will have my chance back again.”
Simy who has been linked with a number of clubs in Italy including Lazio and Udinese has five caps and one goal for Nigeria.
Organsing Committee Set For Obaseki Football Tourney
The organising committee for the 2023 Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament (BOWFT) has promised a better experience for followers of the yearly competition, which has been acknowledged by stakeholders as the country’s best pre-season female soccer tournament.
The nine-man committee, headed by chairman of Edo Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, with the Commission’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sabina Chikere as Secretary, was inaugurated on Thursday last week by Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, in Benin City.
Other members of the committee are Maria Edekor, Kingsley Ehigiamusor, Crusoe Osagie, Dr. Andrew Obi, Dr. Peter Okonofua, Dr. Kweku Tandoh and Emmanuel Igbinosa.
Speaking on behalf of other members of the committee, Dr. Tandoh expressed appreciation to the state government for giving them opportunity to serve, adding: “The last two years have been wonderful with the Deputy Governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, and the team showing that women can make a way even in football. We want to assure you that this year, we will put in our best.
“We believe and hope that this year will not be an exception and by the grace of God and with the support that you always give to us, we would do a good job and make you proud.”
Earlier, while inaugurating the committee, Mrs. Obaseki urged the members to improve on the success recorded in previous editions of the tournament.
The First Lady commended the committee for the overwhelming support and their contributions in previous editions of the tournament, noting, “I have good reason to appreciate you for your hard work and commitment even in the first outing that was highly commended by FIFA.
WAFU B-U20: Four Falconets Make XI
Despite losing the final of the 2023 WAFU B U-20 Cup to Ghana on Saturday, four Falconets players made the team of the tournament, following their individual brilliance at the championship.
After regulation time ended 1-1, Christopher Danjuma’s side lost 3-1 on penalties to Ghana, who won the first edition of the tournament on home soil in Kumasi last weekend.
In the team of the tournament released on Monday, the quartet of Opeyemi Ajakaye, Flourish Sebastine, Esther Onyenezide and Chinyere Kalu were among the tournament’s best 11, which had six players from rivals Ghana and one player from Burkina Faso.
Ajakaye finished as the highest goal scorer of the tournament with six goals, while Sebastine, who scored Nigeria’s equaliser in the final, had four goals. Both strikers were joined in the attack of the 4-3-3 selection by Burkina Faso’s Adele Kabren.
In midfield, Onyenezide who had five goals at the tournament, is joined by Ghana’s duo Stella Nyamekye, who also won tthe ournament’s best player award, and Success Ameeya.
Kalu is the only Nigerian among the defenders and is paired by Ghana’s Sarah Kulible in the heart of defence, while Comfort Yeboah and Fatimata Fuseini flanked them. Ghana’s penalty shootout heroine, Afi Amenyaku, was selected between the sticks.
Eagles Camp Opens June 12 … As Peseiro Scouts NPFL Super Six Play-Off
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has disclosed that Super Eagles camp will open on June 12 in Abuja ahead of the 2024 African Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and the Lone Stars of Sierra Leone.
The match will hold on June 18 in Liberia because Confederation of African Football (CAF) did not find any stadium in Sierra Leone good enough for a game of such magnitude.
Speaking with Tidesports on Monday Super Eagles’ Team Coordinator, Patrick Pascal, said everything was being done to ensure Nigeria picks the three points, which would automatically qualify it for the African Cup of Nations.
“The game against Sierra Leone will be tough because they are also eager to qualify for the Nations Cup. “We are happy that most of the overseas-based players earmarked for the game are in good form for their various clubs.
“Although we are not underestimating any country because football is growing rapidly across the world, we are focused on winning the game and qualify for the 2024 AFCON,” he said.
Pascal also added that the ongoing Nigerian Premier Football League Championship play-off in Lagos would aid the coaches’ bid to discover talented players in the local league.
Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, is a constant presence at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, venue of the championship.
“The NFF president has been working hard to improve the Nigerian League. With the Super Six, it will be possible for coaches to see the outstanding players in the Nigeria league because all teams and players are on a equal standing to prove their worth. The highest goal scorer of the league would be seen to deserve it, instead of awarding the award to a player that did not score a convincing goal during the main league.
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