Nigeria trainer Thomas Dennerby has named a pool of 48 players made up of 29 home-based and 19 overseas-based professionals for camping ahead of the final tournament.
Notable names on the list include current African Women’s Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, striker Desire Oparanozie, goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan and defender Onome Ebi who were all part of the team that won the last championship in Cameroon two years ago.
Also included from the 2016 AWCON winning squad were no fewer than 14 other experienced players including defender Ngozi Ebere, Osinachi Ohale as well as striking duo of Francisca Ordega and Esther Sunday.
In addition, the Swede tactician has further extended invitation to former youth international Chinwendu Ihezuo who scored a record five goals in a single match in the 11-0 defeat of hosts Azerbaijan at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
There were also places for players who impressed at the recent FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup held in France namely Rasheedat Ajibade, Anam Imo, Glory Ogbonna and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie in the squad for the first phase of the team’s preparations to be held at the idyllic Jubilee Chalets located in Epe suburb of Lagos State.
The first phase of camping mainly for the home-based players is expected to start on 18-28 October 2018, with the foreign-based professionals for the second phase of the camping. The final squad of 21 players for the tournament is expected to be announced before November 4.
Nigeria have won eight out of the 10 editions of the championship staged so far and reached to defend their title in Ghana eliminating Gambia in the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the 11th edition of the biennial championship which will be staged in the Ghanaian cities of Accra and Cape Coast, which doubles as the African qualifiers to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the top three teams qualifying for the event to be staged in France.
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens); Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Onyinyechukwu Okeke (Edo Queens)
Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Joy Jegede (Bayelsa Queens); Ugochi Emenayo (Nasarawa Amazons); Maureen Okpala (Confluence Queens); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Ebere (Barcelona FC, Cyprus); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Juliet Lorliam (Nasarawa Amazons); Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Josephine Chukwunonye (Asarum AIF, Sweden)
Midfielders: Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Christy Ucheibe (Nasarawa Amazons); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Ogechi Ukwuoma (Pelican Stars); Peace Efih (Edo Queens); Bashirat Amoo (Confluence Queens); Goodness Onyebuchi (Sunshine Queens); Nneka Julius (Edo Queens); Patience Agbokade (Sunshine Queens); Mary Anjor (Osun Babes); Ngozi Okobi (Eskiltuna UTD, Sweden); Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Christy Adule (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan); Halimat Ayinde (Asarum AIF, Sweden); Ogonna Chukwudi (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden)
Forwards: Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo Queens); Anam Imo (Nasarawa Amazons); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens); Chioma Wogu (Rivers Angels); Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens); Asisat Oshoala (Dalian Quanjian, China); Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Ebere Orji (Mallbackens Lysvik, Sweden); Esther Sunday (Konak Belediyespor); Uchechi Sunday; Courtney Dike (Oklahoma City, USA); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan)
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football