Nigeria women’s team, the Super Falcons, have named nine overseas-based pros including Arsenal Ladies star Asisat Oshoala and France-based striker Desire Oparanozie.
Other pros for the trip to Dakar are Onome Ebi (Belarus), Josephine Chukwunonye, Ngozi Okobi, Rita Chikwelu (Sweden), Evelyn Nwabuoku (Kazakhstan), Francisca Ordega (USA) and Ebere Orji (Hungary).
Senegal host the Falcons on Dakar on Friday with the return leg in Abuja on Tuesday.
The overall winners will advance to the 2016 African Women’s Championship in Cameroon in November.
Meanwhile, Super Falcons Coach Florence Omagbemi believes she can see the Nigeria women national team to the top echelon of the game and hopes the Super Falcons can make a statement against Senegal.
The former Falcons’ skipper will make her international coaching bow against Bassouare Diaby’s ladies in Dakar, and the Nigerians will be hoping to pip the Teranga Lionesses to the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations ticket.
Omagbemi believes the country has not lost grip in Africa but need to step up to advance on the world stage.
“Getting to the top and remaining there is never going to be an easy task but from what I have seen so far, the players still have high confidence level,” Omgabemi told Caf website.
“What needs to be done now is changing the approach to coaching. We still have the commanding tone on the continent and just have to improve our performance on the world stage.
“The players know that they have to increase their confidence level and the coaching crew has started mapping out the strategy for the crucial qualifier against Senegal. Women’s football on the continent has improved greatly and we are conscious of the fact that every team has improved over time.
“ I was at the last Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada and all three African representatives (Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon), did well though only Cameroon progressed beyond the group stage. So there has been a marked difference between Nigeria and the rest of Africa as such we must be wary of the Senegalese.”
Not minding the threat from the west Africans, she is expecting a positive result from her team in Friday’s Awcon qualifier for a place in Cameroon 2016.
“There is no walkover in football again. This match is not about top dogs and underdogs,” she continued.
“We are not looking at Senegal as underdogs. They will come all out knowing they are playing against one of the best teams on the continent. Our business is to go to Dakar and get the result that will boost our chances of qualifying to Cameroon.
“At the end of the game on Friday, we are going to know if we are playing an underdog but with the confidence level in our team, we are going to do well in Dakar. We have a good crop of players both from the domestic league and foreign-based.
“We are counting on all of them to be at their best if picked for the encounter. I don’t want to start talking about a particular player doing the magic; rather we want to see collective team work from all of them,” she concluded.
Falcons squad to Senegal:
Ibubeleye Whyte (Rivers Angels); Sandra Chichi (Bayelsa Queens); Onome Ebi (FC Minsk, Belarus); Blessing Edoho (Pelican Stars); Josephine Chukwunonye (Vittsjoe GIK, Sweden); Osinachi Ohale (Rivers Angels); Ugo Njoku (Rivers Angels); Gladys Akpa (Sunshine Queens); Desire Oparanozie (EN Avent de Guingamp, France); Ngozi Okobi (Vittsjoe GIK, Sweden); Asisat Oshoala (Arsenal Ladies); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Kazygurt, Kazakhstan); Winifred Eyebhokia (Nasarawa Amazons); Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Rita Chikwelu (Umea IK, Sweden); Chioma Wogu (Kogi Confluence); Ebere Orji (Ferencvaros, Hungary)