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Precious Dede: I want to help India surprise the world

I want to help India surprise the world - Precious Dede
  • The Nigerian legend said she always had his eyes on coaching
  • Revealed she took up coaching in India to help the country shocked the world at the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

India later this year will host the seventh edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the country has recruited Thomas Dennerby, a former coach of Nigeria’s female national team as the head coach for its U-17 Women’s team.

Dennerby, in turn, appointed some heavyweights of the women’s game – with Super Falcons legend Precious Dede heading the goalkeeping department.

Dede, a 99-capped international appeared at four Women’s World Cups, 3 Olympic Football Tournaments and won 2 CAF African Women’s Championship titles (2010 & 2014).

Read Also: Why Precious Dede was recruited to coach India’s aspiring GKs

Discussing her transition into a football coach, Dede said it helped a lot to serve as a role model to the young female footballers.

She told FIFA.com: “The girls know what I’ve done and they look up to me a lot. I can see them paying really close attention when I work with them, and it helps that I can still step on the pitch and show them how certain things should be done.

“The other day, one of the girls came up to me and asked, ‘Mum – they call me that – can I ever be like you?’ And I told her, ‘No, you won’t be like me – you will be better than me.

“That is why I am here: to get you to that level.’

“Even when I was still playing, I knew that I wanted to become a coach. And not just a coach – a goalkeeping coach. I get a lot of joy from seeing good goalkeeping, and from seeing young keepers develop.”

Read Also: Oparanozie: Falcons deserve same pay as Super Eagles

On why she had to jump a ship to coach in a non-footballing nation, Dede who has had spells as part of the coaching crew for Nigeria women’s U-20 team and senior team said she came to India to prove a point.

The former Ibom and Delta Queen’s shot-stopper added: “Lots of people asked me, ‘Why are you going to India? It’s not a football country.’ But I told them that I was coming here to prove a point because, with this U-17 World Cup, we are working towards a goal. And we want to surprise the world.”

Upon appointing Dede, Dennerby, who the goalkeeper regards as a father-figure spoke highly of the Nigerian.

The Sweden coach, said then, that his appointment of Dede had little to do with their working together in Nigeria, but his respect for Dede’s work ethic.

“Precious was with me in Nigeria for a while and of course, she’s experienced – having 99 caps for Nigeria,” Dennerby said in an interview with FIFA.com

“However, that was not the primary reason to bring her – it’s the fact she is a really good goalkeeping coach. She has a good plan and works hard. When you work with young players, it’s important you have a good personality and a good role model. She {Dede} is working very hard with the girls in training and we can already see improvement.”

Read Also Equal pay, U-20 World Cup: Matters arising from ‘Awa’ Female football

Olatosimi Fadahunsi278 Posts

Olatosimi is a part-time non-professional footballer and a football writer with spotkick. His ideology/mind/eyes endlessly rove multidimensionally.

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