Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has released a 23-player squad for the two upcoming international friendlies next month.
The Super Falcons are set to play two friendly matches in Turkey in April.
They will face World Cup-bound Haiti women’s national team on April 7 at the Emir Sports Complex in Antalya, Turkey, before taking on World Cup co-hosts New Zealand at the Mardan Sports Complex, also in Antalya, four days later.
Notable stars on coach Waldrum’s roster are team captain Onome Ebi, Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala, and Atletico Madrid forward Rasheedat Ajibade.
Interestingly, Waldrum has named Wuhan Jianghan University star Desire Oparanozie in the Super Falcons squad for the first time since he became the team’s head coach.
Oparanozie had been frozen out of the national team for four years after she led protests against the Amanju Pinnick-led NFF over unpaid bonuses at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The 29-year-old was the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 African Women’s Championship after scoring five goals to power Nigeria to the title.
Oparanozie was also a key member of the Super Falcons squad that conquered Africa in 2010, 2016, and 2018.
In Oparanozie’s absence, the Super Falcons relinquished their continental crown to South Africa last year and finished a disappointing fourth. The nine-time African champions equally struggled to impress at the Revelations Cup in Mexico last month, winning just one of three games at the invitational friendly tournament.
Oparanozie’s return, however, means there is no space in the Super Falcon’s attack for the in-form duo of Russia-based Macleans Chinonyerem and Francisca Ordega.
Other players invited for the Haiti and New Zealand friendlies include veterans Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Osinachi Ohale, Halimatu Ayinde, and youngsters Oluwatosin Demehin and Rofiat Imuran.
The Super Falcons will converge in Antalya, Turkey, on April 2, for a week-long camp before their first match against Haiti.
Nigeria’s women’s national football team, the Super Falcons, have been drawn in Group A of the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup alongside co-hosts Australia, Canada, and Northern Ireland.
THE 23 SUPER FALCONS PLAYERS:
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Yewande Balogun (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Inyene Etim (Abia Angels).
Defenders: Onome Ebi (Abia Angels); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Glory Ogbonna (Besiktas JK, Turkey); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, U.S); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France).
Midfielders: Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (FC Levante Las Planas, Spain); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (AS Saint-Etienne, France).
Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Femenin, Spain); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, U.S); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, Kentucky, U.S); Desire Oparanozie (Wuhan Chegu Jianghan, China); Gift Monday (UDG Tenerife, Spain).