Nigeria women's team head coach Randy Waldrum has called up 30 players, including impressive quartet of Leicester City's Ashleigh Plumptre, Gonirk Leczna's Macleans Chinonyerem, Maccabi Kiryat Gat's Peace Efih and SL Benfica's Christy Ucheibe to a training camp in Abuja, beginning from Monday.
The nine-day camping is coming up as part of preparations for the final round of qualification series for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morocco in the summer of 2022, in which the nine-time African champions will slug it out with strong West African rivals Ivory Coast next Feburary.
On the home front, 15 home-based professionals, including forwards Gift Monday and Vivian Ikechukwu, who also starred for Rivers Angels at the Caf Women's Champions League in Egypt also made the cut along side defender Akudo Ogbonna, midfielder Goodness Onyebuchi and forward Maryann Ezenagu .
Among the foreign-based stars, defender Onome Ebi alongside midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne and forward Desire Oparanozie were on the squad, while captain, Asisat Oshoala, her assistant Francisca Ordega with Oshinachi Ohale were left out due to injury copped in action with their various clubs.
The camp which runs from November 22 to 30 will also see the return of Germany based Patricia George from injury, goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke, who was part of the Austria tour in July along with Nicole Payne.
Earlier in October, the team claimed a 2-1 aggregate victory over arch-rivals, Ghana. And t hey will confront another strong West African side, Cote d'Ivoire for a place in Morocco. The final round of qualifiers will hold in February next year, with the first leg taking place in Lagos.
30 INVITED PLAYERS
Goalkeepers: Onyinyechukwu Okeke (Bayelsa Queens); Ibubeleye Whyte (Rivers Angels); Uchenna Chukwu (Nasarawa Amazons)
Defenders: Onome Ebi (Minsk FC, Belarus); Maureen Okpala (Nasarawa Amazons); Patricia George (SC Sand, Germany); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Miracle Joseph (Bayelsa Queens); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Glory Edet (Bayelsa Queens); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)
Midfielders: Adekite Dada (Watford FC, England); Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Yetunde Aluko (WFC Ramat Hasharon, Israel); Amanda Mbadinuju (Bayelsa Queens); Goodness Onyebuchi (Edo Queens); Grace Igboamalu (Bayelsa Queens); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal)
Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint Etienne, France); Maryann Ezenagu (Rivers Angels); Desire Oparanozie (Dijon FC, France); Vivian Ikechukwu (Rivers Angels); Gift Monday (Rivers Angels); Juliet Bassey (Bayelsa Queens); Macleans Chinonyerem (Gonirk Leczna (Poland)