Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dennerby is set to give FC Robo of Lagos striker Rasheedat Ajibade her competitive debut and play her from the start when the Falcons line up against Bayana Bayana of South Africa in the opening Group B fixture in the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations today busybuddiesng.com has learnt.
The diminutive forward busybuddiesng.com learnt, has greatly impressed the technical crew during preparations for this tournament and featured heavily in the team’s preparatory games against ASEC Mimosas U16 boys’ team and Eleven Sisters of Cote d’Ivoire in the lead up to the 2018 AWCON, a pointer to how prominent she is to Dennerby’s plans.
Handing Ajibade who was voted the 2017 best young player at the Aiteo/NFF awards earlier in the year, a first cap against Bayana Bayana would be a show of remarkable faith in the ability of the 19-year old by Dennerby and having identified the match against the South Africans as one where it would be “almost impossible to tell who’s going to win the game” the Swede seems to have settled on the 2017 Nigerian Women Professional League top-scorer as a trump card for the Falcons as they aim to start off the defense of their title on the front foot.
Ajibade has long been touted as another in the mould of legendary strikers that have graced the Nigerian women football scene and having featured for the U-17 and U-20 age grade teams and also being a part of the team that competed at the 2018 West African Football Union (WAFU), the time seems ripe for her to finally make her bow for the Super Falcons on the grandest continental stage against a celebrated foe at the 15,000 capacity Cape Coast stadium in Ghana.
Meanwhile, in a day of big decisions for Dennerby, Rita Chikwelu has been named captain for today’s game against Bayana Bayana after veteran defender Onome Ebi previously donned the armband during the qualifiers against the Gambia in June. Chikwelu was captain when the team lifted the AWCON for an unprecedented eight time in Cameroon in 2016.