With less than 100 days to go until the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand, CAFOnline spoke to Nigeria’s Captain Onome Ebi on how the Super Falcons are preparing for their record ninth appearance at the global extravaganza.
The multiple African champions have been drawn in Group B where they will battle out against Canada, Ireland and hosts Australia, and the ambitious Nigerians are slowly folding their sleeves and getting ready to work for a good performance down under.
Q: We are 100 days away from the start of the World Cup. How is Nigeria getting ready?
Our preparation is going on okay and we are focusing on improving on all fronts; from defense to attack. We are adjusting everything to be ready for the World Cup which is fast approaching. We are focusing on the small details which we don’t want to miss and also, we don’t want to repeat mistakes that we have had in the past.
Q. What are your ambitions for this World Cup?
Our ambition, definitely, is to do our best. We approach this World Cup with the mindset of performing to our utmost best and conquering. We had some disappointments at the last TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations where we did not put the best performance.
We have the opportunity at the World Cup where we do not want to disappoint again. I have faith in my team and I like our current state of mind. The team is united and I believe we will be able to do great things at the World Cup. We are motivated and we want to hoist Nigeria’s flag to the highest point.
The ball is in our court as players and we have to do everything to be on fire physically and mentally for this opportunity.
Q. A word about Asisat Oshoala who is having an excellent season. She was injured during the last Cup of Nations. What can we expect from her at the World Cup?
It’s a blessing to have her in this team. She is a great professional and an example for the whole team. Her performance at club level is incredible. Many people forget that few months ago she was injured and today she is up on the pitch putting up huge performances both in the local league and the Champions League.
She is one of the best players in the World and speaking to her, she is also hugely waiting for the World Cup and has already set her targets for the tournament. She is doing everything she can to be on top form.
Q. Nigeria are in Group B with Canada, Ireland and Australia. What do you think of this group?
We are aware that we are in a difficult pool. We have the reigning champions Canada who we have faced twice before, losing one and drawing one. Then we have Ireland and Australia who we have not played against.
We know it will also be very tough against Australia because they will be playing at home. We are under no pressure however and we are calm about these matches.
All of these teams have qualified and earned their right to be at the World Cup. We have to be ready to face them.