falcons
Super Falcons of Nigeria/Photo: AFP

By Andah John

Super Falcons head coach Florence Omagbemi has declared Nigeria’s readiness to retain the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

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The reigning African champions will battle perennial rivals Black Queens of Ghana, alongside Mali, and Kenya in Group B.

They will go toe-to-toe against Mali in their opening game of the eight-team tournament on Sunday.

And Omagbemi, a former captain of the side, who won the tournament in 1998, 2000 and 2002, is optimistic of  another title.

“Though as the defending champions, a lot is expected from us, I don’t see it as a pressure because every team coming to Cameroon would want to have a go at us. But we know remaining at the top is never going to be easy,” the 41-year-old was quoted by Cafonline.

“We have communicated that to the team and we want to keep our high standard. We want to retain the trophy because that is the target in Cameroon.

But the former Nigerian midfielder cautioned her side against complacency as she believes there are no easy sides in football.

“We want to respect the other teams because there are no smaller teams again in football. But we are not under any pressure. We just want to retain our trophy as the defending champions.”

Falcons ready for ‘rivals’

The Falcons gaffer stated that they are not afraid of any side in the competition. Although, she admitted that there are some top teams in the tournament, the Falcons fear no side.

“In my playing days, it was never easy against the Ghanaians,  though we usually had the upper hand. Nigeria and Ghana started women’s football at the same time and they have ideas and talents about the women’s game.

“So, the Black Queens and even the Cameroonians would naturally want to pose a challenge. But we are going to take our matches one at a time because there are no smaller teams again in football. We are not under any pressure. We just want to retain our trophy as the defending champions.”