Tired legs Ebi, Ordega should quit Falcons – Izilein


Former Super Falcons coach, Godwin Izilein, says it’s high time ageing players Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega and others should quit the women’s national team, The PUNCH reports.

At the last Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in July, Randy Waldrum’s team had a mix of the old guard and new blood, with Ebi (39), Tochukwu Oluehi (35), Rita Chikwelu (34), Osinachi Ohale (30) and Ordega (29)the veterans in the team.

The nine-time African champions, however, struggled against young South African, Moroccan and Zambian sides losing all three games against them, with many blaming the old players for the team’s underwhelming performance in Morocco.

Following the draws for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Izilein, who guided the team to WAFCON glory in 2004, said for Nigeria to perform well at the World Cup, some of the ageing players must be dropped.

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“I have no doubt about the ability of the Falcons to perform, but the question is, are we ready to play the right people? If the coach plays the right set of players, I am sure we will go places. What I mean by the right players is that he should play the younger ones because the old players have outlived their usefulness. Football is not meant for old legs anymore, it is meant for youthful players who can strive hard. We should all appeal to those in charge because this is not the time to pay homage to anybody. They have served the country and their time is gone. They should give space for the younger ones,” Izilein told The PUNCH.

“Players like Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega should give space for the girls that played at the U-20 tournament this year. We shouldn’t use names to pick players anymore but play those who are hungry and still have something to offer. We can’t continue to go to tournaments with players who will pick up injuries after one match and get ruled out of the tournament, leaving the team short of one player.”

He added, “Ebi was with me in 2004 and I don’t know what she is still doing in the team? You can imagine what a girl who was with me in 2004 is still doing in the team. Even if she was 10 years with me at that time, she can’t continue to be in the team again. The problem with such aged legs is that when attackers take them on they can’t turn and they resort to committing fouls or feigning injuries. If we fail, we will accept our failures and not give excuses after taking tired legs to the World Cup.”


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