Nigeria’s super female soccer star, Asisat Oshola is excited about performing well in the FIFA competitions in Canada in 2015.
Oshoala started playing football in secondary school. “I was always into sport and was an athlete at first. I used to run home from school. I then started playing football with my friends and classmates. Mainly boys and that is when I became really interested. I did not think about becoming a professional then, though. I also did not have the support of my parents, who did not want me to play. It was only when they noticed that I was serious that they started supporting me.”
Oshoala joined FC River Internationals in Lagos, before being signed by River Angels from Port Harcourt. Just a few weeks ago, Oshoala signed a contract with Liverpool Ladies. “That was something special, and I am sure it will give me a lot more experience. I will have a chance to play in the Champions League.”
Oshoala and Perpetua Nkwocha
Oshoala is well on the way to taking over from Nigerian woman’s footballing legend Perpetua Nkwocha, and she told FIFA.com that the four-time winner of the African Women’s Footballer of the Year award, who also won the African Championships four times and participated at three FIFA Women’s World Cup, is her role model.
“She is a very good person and a very good player and has encouraged me a lot. She helped my game. I have tried to emulate her style of play, but it is not only on the field that I have learned from her, it’s also off the pitch. I look at her character and see that it is something that young people can aspire to.”
Nkwocha, repays the compliments. “[Oshoala] is a genius. She is a brilliant team player who is willing to carry the responsibility of the team on her shoulders. I have not seen any weaknesses in her game. If there is any advice that I could give, it is to remain focused.”
The Diversified Player
Super Falcons coach Edwin Okon says Oshoala can play anywhere. “I could even use her in defence, she is that good, but I use her mainly as a striker.” For Oshoala, it makes no difference where she plays. “I have no favourite position. The coach often uses me on the wings and I am fine with that. I just love playing, but it makes no difference where.”
Liverpool Women’s Club Signs Oshola:
New Liverpool signing Asisat Oshoala is “one of the best young players in the world”, says Reds boss Matt Beard.
Oshoala won both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball – as Player of the Tournament – at last year’s Under-20 World Cup Finals, and becomes the first player from Africa to compete in the Women’s Super League.
“We beat a number of top American and European clubs to Asisat’s signature,” said Beard as he welcomed the 20-year-old striker. “Asisat is one of the best young players in the world.”
Stepping Up From Junior Levels
Nigeria has had considerable success in the Under 20 women’s level. They have managed to reach three semi-finals in a row. Many think they are ready to cause havoc at the senior world cup level in Canada in 2015. In the past, they have only managed once in six appearances to make it out of the group state.
It is likely that Oshoala will spearhead the Super Falcons’ attack at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Oshoala states, “I am confident that this year we will see Nigeria doing well. We have the players and many of them have already played together at youth level.”
Will Nkwocha, the Nigerian star play? She is 38 years of age and has had a brilliant soccer record over the years.
Nkwocha, who has just signed a contract as player-coach at Swedish lower league side Clemensnas IF, would like to be in Canada. “If they call me up I should be grateful to serve my country.”
It could well be the only opportunity that the two players – the one an African footballing legend and the other a potential legend in the making – have the opportunity of parading their skills together on the global stage.
If we can get tickets to the games in Ottawa, Trish and I will be cheering the women on….First and loudest cheers are for Canada. But, every woman deserves to be cheered in her own right. I played with the boys growing up and I have coached at the high school level. Soccer or ‘football’ is in my blood. paula.