Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Super Falcons technical manager, Thomas Dennerby, has showered encomiums on Nigeria former international, Maureen Madu, over her technical input in the team, describing her as a positive influence to young players.
Answering questions from journalists after the team’s training in Abuja ahead of the WAFU tournament, the former Swedish women team coach, noted that she had edge over others because of her European mentality and training.
Asked his working relationship with her, he said: “Maureen Madu is a very experienced coach and player. She is a very good model to the younger players. It is good that she started her coaching training and career in Norway which gave her Northern European mentality edge. We understand each other very well when we talk coaching. She is really good.”
On possibility of the team achieving quarterfinal stage at the FIFA Women World Cup, Dennerby said: “I want to hope so. I think we have good chance against Norway, South Korea while France will be a tough game. However, in football, anything can happen. Even the best team can be beaten during match including the most favourite team.
“I will be glad if we have four points after the two first matches which will probably take us to the round of 16. And at the lockout stage, it goes beyond football but mentality and meeting the expectations of people. Who knows, Nigeria maybe the favourite because we are not under pressure. Anything can happen at that stage,” he said.
The foreign tactician equally talked about the cooperation with the NFF, noting: “We have had lots of good games courtesy of the federation. We participated in the invitational tournament called Cyprus Cup playing against China, Spain among others and we are going to participate in other tournaments.”
On the readiness of the team for WAFU and World Cup, he said: “We have been preparing well and I can tell you that we are very prepared. We have been together for the past 10 days now. We have done really good training and the team as a group has improved since we started.”