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Nigerian Football

NFF UNVEILS DENNERBY AS FALCONS’ COACH

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday unveiled Thomas Dennerby of Sweden as the new head coach of the Nigerian national women Super Falcons.

Dennerby is a former coach of the national women team of Sweden. According to a media release from the media department of the NFF,

“Tuesday’s public presentation of the renowned tactician sits comfortably with the pledge by the Pinnick administration to put in place machinery for very robust and meaningful development of women football in Nigeria, and for the Falcons to challenge for laurels at global championships”.

Dennerby won 34 caps for Swedish junior teams between 1975 and 1981 and coached the Swedish Women’s Senior Team between 2005 and 2012, during which the team played at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2007 and 2011 FIFA World Cup finals, winning bronze at the latter tournament.

More recently, he did scouting and analyses for the Swedish FA at the 2013 and 2017 European Championships, the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

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In announcing Dennerby’s appointment last week, NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategy, Shehu Dikko, said: “The NFF decided to go for a coach of the calibre of Thomas Dennerby for three reasons: to sustain and enhance the Super Falcons’ dominance on the African scene; to take the Falcons and the other women teams to the next level of challenging for laurels at global competitions like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and; to generally lay the foundation for the real development of women’s football in our country.”

At a ceremony inside the Conference Centre of the National Stadium Complex, Abuja, the NFF confirmed that Dennerby’s contract will last till after the 2020 Olympics in the initial, with the right for automatic renewal subject to meeting of performance milestones.

Before then, the Swede will have the opportunity to prove himself at the 2018 and 2020 Women Africa Cup of Nations competitions, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals and the Women’s Football Tournament of the Tokyo Olympics.

“We believe we have the right man to take the Super Falcons and women’s football in Nigeria to the next level.

Undoubtedly, we have been doing very well on the African continent, with eight titles out of 10 AFCON competitions so far.

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However, we went all out for a man of Dennerby’s pedigree and capacity because we want the Falcons and the other teams to win laurels at global championships.

 

“As a Federation, we will give Dennerby and his assistant Petersson, as well as his Nigerian assistants all they require to succeed,” Dikko said at the unveiling.

Dennerby said: “I am ready for the opportunity and the challenge of working with an amazing team like the Super Falcons. I believe we can all work together to close the gap between them and the big women football –playing nations of the world.

“I believe in hard work. I am happy to be here and we are going to work together for the success of the team. Every individual player of the team is important, but the cohesion of the team is paramount.

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“I will be placing a serious demand on the players to give their best in training, physical fitness and in every competition. My philosophy is to develop the players and to work with the backroom staff.”

  • Shehu Dikko (third from left) shakes hands with Dennerby as NFF General Secretary Sanusi (third from right), Omidiran (second left), David (left), Oshoala, Ebi, Yusuf and Alizor look on.

Dennerby and Petersson will be working with four Nigerian assistants. They are: Oni Olanrewaju Wemimo (Assistant Coach); Maureen Mmadu (Assistant Coach); Taiwo Omobolanle Tundun (Goalkeepers’ Trainer 1) and; Precious Dede (Goalkeepers’ Trainer 2).

Dennerby’s assistant, Petersson, has worked with several top Swedish clubs and was assistant coach of the Swedish U23 women team between 2006 and 2012.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said that Dennerby has already been assigned with a personal car and a driver.

On her part, Chairman of NFF Women’s Football Committee, Ayo Omidiran expressed belief that the appointment of Dennerby was well –thought –out and she expects a turn –around in the fortunes of the Super Falcons at major championships.

Work begins immediately for the new crew as the Falcons will compete in the 8 –Nation WAFU Women Cup of Nations taking place in Cote d’Ivoire 10th -24th February 2018.

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Also present at the ceremony were NFF Assistant Director (Technical), Abdulrafiu Yusuf, NFF Head of Women’s Football Ruth David, Head of Marketing Alizor Chuks and Super Falcons’ stars Asisat Oshoala and Onome Ebi.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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