Azerbaijan 2012: Envoy visits Flamingoes’ camp as coach is upbeat of victory against Canada

Nigeria's U-17 Women's team have vowed to do the nation proud against the North Americans on Saturday in their first match

The third edition of the U-17 tournament kicks-off in Azerbaijan on Saturday 22 September, with fans looking forward to a fascinating festival of football.

The Flamingoes are already enjoying the goodwill of Nigerians with the latest being the Nigeria Ambassador to Iran, Alhaji Tukur Mani, who paid a visit to the team’s camp to encourage them before their first match against Canada.

He came in company of his wife and Deputy Ambassador, M.D Bello, along with some Embassy staff. As the Ambassador of Iran, he also oversees Iran, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, hence the need for him to visit the Flamingoes.

"I thank God for bringing you safely to Azerbaijan and all through your training tour. I will be present for your first match against Canada and I know you will win it for us all. I hope to see you play at the final. I may not be here every day but my staff will always be around," Mani said.

Meanwhile, the team yesterday had its official training at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium which is the venue of the opening match against Canada.

Before the training which lasted for an hour, the head coach and 2 players did a press conference which lasted 15 minutes.

During the briefing, Coach Peter Dedevbo said he had great respect for the teams participating in the competition but he had only one mission which is to go one step better than the quarter-final stage which his team was eliminated at the last world cup in Trinidad and Tobago.

“We have come to this tournament with only one mission-to surpass our previous performance. We have great respect for the teams participating in this year’s tourney but we are going to take it one match at a time and by God’s grace my girls are ready” said Dedevbo.

The match will come up by 5pm local time which is 1pm Nigeria time.

The centre referee is Monzul Kateryna from Ukraine, while her assistants are Koutsoumpou Panagiota (Greece), Foskolou Ourania (Greece) and Radzik-Johan Karolina(Poland). The match commissioner is Domanski Lyfors Marika from Sweden.