Christopher Musa Danjuma has resumed his role as Head Coach of the U20 Women National Team, Falconets, following a rigorous screening and interview process conducted by the NFF Technical Committee. The committee has subsequently put forth its recommendation, which has received approval from the NFF Executive Committee,Daily Trust reports.
The process kicked off with a one-week public notice soliciting applications from suitably qualified candidates. Subsequently, shortlisted individuals were contacted and interviewed by a panel from the Technical Committee.
Danjuma, who has previously assumed temporary leadership of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, on multiple occasions, notably guided the Falconets to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica last year.
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The seasoned coach will be supported by former U20 and U17 girls’ assistant coach, Mansur Abdullahi, as well as former Super Falcons’ midfielder, Effioanwan Ekpo. Ekpo, who represented Nigeria for a decade between 2000 and 2010, participated in various international tournaments including the FIFA World Cup finals in the USA (2003) and China (2007), the Women Olympic Football Tournaments in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008), and achieved gold at the Women Africa Cup of Nations on three occasions. She also featured in the 2007 All-Africa Games in Algiers.
Yahaya Audu, who previously served as the goalkeeper trainer for the team, is also returning to his role.
The Falconets are set to kick off their 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign with a second-round, first-leg match against Mauritius in Saint Pierre on Sunday, 8th October, with the return leg scheduled for the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 14th October 2023.
Meanwhile, influential figures in Nigerian football are advocating for the appointment of Samson Unanuel as the head coach of the women’s national U17 football team, Flamingoes, under the leadership of Ibrahim Gusau-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). This appeal comes amid intense lobbying for various national team coaching positions.
With Christopher Musa Danjuma’s return as Falconets’ head coach, stakeholders are urging the NFF to consider Unanuel’s experience, capacity, and competence as a German-trained football tactician for the Flamingoes.
They argue that among the candidates being considered for the position, Unanuel, who currently manages Calabar Rovers FC, stands out due to his tactical prowess and his proven ability to develop players for the senior national team, making him the ideal choice for Flamingoes.
A member of Nigeria’s football congress emphasized the importance of Unanuel’s credentials, saying, “Samson Unanuel is the best man for Flamingoes. So, I advise the NFF board to look at capacity, experience, and competence in appointing anyone for this job.”
Abdurazaq Usman, the organizing secretary of the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), also highlighted Unanuel’s extensive experience and knowledge of the game, stating, “Most of the personalities lobbyists are clamoring for were nowhere near his pedigree and can’t match his tactical knowledge of the game of football. NFF should do the needful by giving the Flamingoes a good coach that will lead them to successes.”
The NFF board had previously announced its intention to swiftly appoint coaching staff for the various women national teams, including the Super Falcons, Falconets, and Flamingos, due to upcoming qualifying fixtures for major championships.