Former Super Falcons coach, Godwin Izilien has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to get a psychologist for the national U-17 women team before the return leg of their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cameroun. The Flamingoes played a 2-2 draw with their Camerounian counterparts in the first leg of the qualifier in Benin at the weekend.
Izilien also called on the team's coach to work more on the psychology of the team ahead of the return leg in Yaoundé, arguing that the girls can still beat the Camerounians even away from home.
Izilien said in the Benin leg of the tie, the Flamingoes displayed characteristics that showed they were not serious with the task of qualifying for the World Cup ticket against all odds. He added that the Flamingoes would face a tougher challenge in the return leg if they were not made to understand that qualifying for the World Cup would have a ripple effect on their footballing career.
He enjoined the players to work hard and remain focused to excel, adding that the girls should realise that Cameroun is a strong force in African football.
"The Flamingoes did not display any level of hunger for victory against Cameroun in the first leg of the World Cup qualifier. When the game ended 2-2, the Camerounians celebrated, which indicates that they are confortable with the result.
"My advise to the team is that apart from the regular training given to the players, they should be made to understand that getting to the World Cup would open another chapter in their lives. These girls are grassroots players who need to be continuously talked to and motivated to bring out the best in them.
"Some of these players believe they are only on top of their career if they were playing for the Super Falcons... they do not understand that playing at the cadet level could also launch them to the world scene when they qualify for the championship.
"The game against Cameroun would be tough and the coaches need to make the players committed and resilient to come out victorious," he said. The FIFA U-17 Women World Cup will hold in Uruguay from November 13 to December 1 featuring 16 teams from the six confederations.