Super Falcons technical adviser Thomas Dennerby, has revealed why he decided to include the inexperienced duo of Rasheedat Ajibade and Anam Imo in his squad for the upcoming AWCON in Ghana.
The duo was included in the final 21-woman Super Falcons squad for the championship in Ghana ahead of some experienced players and it will the first time they are making an appearance at the biggest Africa Women football showpiece.
Dennerby, however, believed that the Falconet stars need to develop gradually before they become established stars for the Super Falcons and attending grade A competitions like AWCON will benefit the duo.
“As a coach, it is always good if you can show that you trust them, especially when it’s young players because they need more support,” Dennerby told Goal.
“As long as you are a player and the older you’re, you will need less support and less instruction. It is like when you start in school, the young you’re – you need more instructions.
“And after a couple of years, you have to start to learn some by yourself. In the end, you can be part of teaching younger girls on and off the pitch, especially on how to behave when in camp.
“That’s why it was good some of them were at the U20 Women’s World Cup tournament and being aware of what if takes to play on the big stage and being part of such long camping is quite different from being at home.”
Dennerby added the two youngsters will get some minutes under their belt at some point in the tournament so can build on their World Cup experience from France in Ghana.
“I think Ajibade have a unique playing vision and she really has the feeling of what to do and where to run when on the field.” he continued.
“She also has something that is really important which is making players around her do better because she is smart and also creates space for others.
“For Anam, she also has her own special strength, using her speed, good touches, and energy. In our friendly game against the boys (Dominion Hotspur), we had a good period on the right side in the last 30 minutes and we created chances and scored from it.
“Of course, they are young and we don’t expect that they are the one that will run the team. We hope during the tournament we can bring them in to gain experience for the future but when it comes to the big games, we have to win and perform well.
“It all depends on how the games look like. I and Jorgen and the rest of the coaching staff will have to take the decisions when we see what happens in the games. You could have a plan going into a match but it could also change quickly.”
Rasheedat Ajibade and Anam Imo were part of the Super Falconets team that represented the country at the U20 World Cup in France and they were part of the Senior team squad to 2018 WAFU Cup in Abidjan where they finished third.