Faith Ikidi targets African title with Nigeria

Faith Ikidi
The 31-year-old propelled Pitea IF to the Swedish championship title and she is now setting her sights on African glory

Faith Ikidi says winning the 2018 Swedish Damallsvenskan title will motivate her to help Nigeria retain the Africa Women's Cup of Nations trophy in Ghana.

The 31-year-old impressive for the entire season as Pitea IF fought until the final day of the season to clinch the Swedish elite division title for the first time in their history.

The defender, who has been playing in Sweden since 2006, was named the 2018 Best Player of the Season by referees following her outstanding role for Pitea IF title win.

Having won her second topflight title in Sweden in 2018, the former Bayelsa Queens star will be aiming to win her third African title in her fifth campaign with Nigeria this year.

"2018 has been a blessed year for me and my year of the supernatural. I am really grateful to God for such an injury free season," Ikidi told Goal.

"Going into the Swedish women league season, I had it in my mind that this year was our year, Though I left everything in the hands of God.

"There were times we lost games but we never gave up and continued to follow our match plans. I was praying that, even if we lose, those behinds must not catch up with us. I was optimistic.

"But because we were determined to achieve something, we kept working towards it, fight harder and stayed united till the end to win the league title.

"I am also grateful to God for winning the (referees) best player award, though others have won it before but being my first time."

The former Linkopings FC star is eager to repeat the same title feat with Thomas Dennerby's ladies in Ghana as they bid for a World Cup ticket to France next year.

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"Winning the Swedish title will be a huge motivation for me going to Ghana. I know the Africa Women's Cup of Nations is such a special competition teams fight to be Africa's best," she continued.

"This year is also a different one entirely because that's what qualifies us to the World Cup. Winning the league title makes me feel like I can achieve anything in Ghana.

"Coming here with such mentality and help to spread it to other players, I think it will really drive us, knowing that we were once champions and can still be champions again."