Waldrum kept experimenting before the World Cup in Australia/New Zealand, and one of the biggest victims was Toni Payne
Super Falcons star Toni Payne has revealed that she did not know the position she would play at the World Cup, but she was happy to play as a creative midfielder eventually, Soccernet reports.
The Super Falcons had a decent outing at the just concluded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. They got to the round of 16 after picking some good results against Canada, Australia, and Ireland.
The engine-room of Nigeria’s attack was Sevilla star Payne. She was a tireless worker in the middle of the park, and was involved in all of Nigeria’s goals. Payne, though a winger could have operated from her position, but Coach Waldrum decided to use her as a creative midfielder.
Payne has now revealed that she was not aware of Waldrum’s plans, but she enjoyed operating from the middle.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have a soft spot for the number 10 position because I grew up playing it,” Payne told Eagles Tracker.
“It was when I got to Ajax I started playing on the wings and the forward position. I’ve always played the 10, so it felt good playing that position again.
“I didn’t even know what position Randy was going to play me at the World Cup, but I was prepared to play an important position. It was so fun to play as a ten, and I was so happy.”
Payne was not the only one on the team who had to change positions. Michelle Alozie also had to convert from a forward to being a defender, Ashleigh Plumptre had to switch from central defense to full-back, and some of the strikers had to operate as wingers too.