Nigeria’s female youth national team, Falconets arrived in France early Thursday, with a target to keep aloft their tradition of reaching the final of the FIFA U-2-0 Women’s World Cup every four years, but hoping to get a step further to winning gold this time out.
While the host country will aim for another global success on home soil, after winning the FIFA World Cup for men last month in Russia, Nigeria’s Falconets enter the Female Youth Mundial on the strength of runners-up spots in 2010 and 2014, but now want the trophy.
This was the basic thought of Coach Chris Danjuma and his lasses, heading into this year’s competition, as Falconets flew into France for the showpiece, which will run from August 5 to 24 in the Brittany region of Emmanuel Macron’s country.
Once again, Africa’s hopes at the competition lie with Nigeria and Ghana, as the Falconets and Black Princesses have been the continent’s representatives in the last four editions.
Heading to France 2018, the Falconets held their final camp in Tirol, Austria for two weeks to finalise preparations for the tournament, in which Nigeria tie Germany, Haiti and China in Group D; opening against the Germans, who beat them in the finals of 2010 and 2014.
Ahead of hostilities, Danjuma last week named three goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and five strikers in his 21 players, amidst high hopes of beating Germany in their first group game at Stade Marville in Saint-Malo.
The biannual tournament will give France an opportunity to celebrate a second world title in the space of two months, following the men’s victory in Russia last month.
The feat has only been achieved by Germany in 2014, when the senior male team won the Mundial in Brazil and went ahead to add the Women’s U-20 World Cup months later.
Home advantage and a runner-up finish in the last edition of the tournament make the French team, Les Bleuettes, genuine title contenders.