Former Super Falcons coaches, James Peters and Rolandson Odeh hold different views on the invitation of off-form goalkeeper, Precious Dede to the senior national team’s camp.
Dede is among the 27 players invited to camp by coach Eucharia Uche for the must-win London 2012 Olympic Games qualifier against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in Yaounde on October 22. Falcons won the first leg 2-1 in Abuja. At 31, Dede has been without a club and never featured in the 2011 women league preliminaries, the just-concluded final Super Six, as well as the Challenge Cup won by her now adopted club, Rivers Angels.
Although both coaches admitted that her experience is needed in the team, they, however, told SuperSport.com that alternate keepers who are younger and fitter should be given a starting shirt against the Central African foes.
“You cannot remove the experience of Dede from the team. I think she is relevant for now until we get a good replacement for her.
“I know she was not fully fit in the first match against Cameroon in Abuja. I don’t know her fitness level now, but if she is not still fine then other goalkeepers should be given a starting shirt,” Peters told SuperSport.com.
“Dede on paper remains Nigeria’s number one and the best in the land. No one can question her experience, but I doubt whether she is the best on current form at the moment. Her nagging ankle and knee injuries have made her susceptible to mistakes. Her deputy, Tochukwu Oluehi has come of age, and equally gathered experience. She should be allowed to keep,” Odeh enthused.
Both coaches disagreed on the drafting of the former Super Eagles’ coach and member, NFF technical committee, Christian Chukwu to the team. “Chukwu is not knowledgeable in that field, Coach Eucharia Uche needs a helper, and Chukwu is totally off it. NFF should second an experienced coach in women football to assist Uche,” Peters said.
“Chukwu is a misnomer. He can’t do it because that is not his area of competence. I am sure he cannot even name a single player,” Odeh said. However, coach Peters is upbeat of a Falcons’ victory against Cameroon in Yaounde.
“Cameroon is not insurmountable, they are not fantastic because the Ghanaian team is stronger than the Cameroonians. If we go there with the right tactics and a coach who can read the game, we will sure survive,” Peters said.