Former Black Queens defender, Mavis Danso has provided a breakdown of why the Nigerian senior national women’s team is the dominant force in Africa.
The Super Falcons have won a record eleven AWCON titles. The latest was their 2018 AWCON title after defeating South Africa in the final held in Ghana.
The team is also the only women’s national team from the Confederation of African Football to have reached the quarterfinals in both the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Football at the Summer Olympics.
They are also one of the few teams in the world to have qualified for every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with their best performance at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they reached the quarterfinals.
All these monopolies Danso said boil down to the inability of players of the Ghana Women’s national teams and other national teams to know what their bodies want; how to train, what to eat and also the amount of sleep these players need to be able to challenge the dominance of the Nigerians.
“If you want to go to a tournament or even if you want to play in a game, the way you train, the way you eat, the way you have to take care of your body, what goes in what comes out.
“Rest periods. How long you need to sleep. How much rest you need to make sure that your body recuperates very well so you’ll be able to get the strength back and go back to the field and play.
“This is a big issue that I think needs to be fixed. We had that same problem. And Alberta will tell you sometimes you go to practice and you haven’t even eaten properly. The food that we eat doesn’t have any nutritional value.
“And you practice on the field from Monday to Saturday; two, three hours in the morning, two, three hours in the evening. And you don’t have any proper food to eat”, she revealed on GTV Sports Plus.
The Black Queens 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup representative further noted that the Nigerian population provides them with a lot of options but it’s how they manage players that give them the edge.
“And they have a big player a pool and a bigger population than we do. So, they can select the best players that they want.
And it’s not like we don’t have it. We do have it. But like Alberta said, they were ahead of us every step of the way in terms of food, in terms of gear, in terms of emotional support, physical support when it comes to winning bonuses and everything, they’re two steps ahead of us every single time.”
The now 36-year-old former Robert Morris College player also mentioned problems they faced are the same problems faced by players today.
“And I feel like the players that are there right now, I think they’re going through the same thing. You know, sometimes you have bonuses that haven’t been paid.
“Abiba will attest to this. The number of times she has to talk about bonuses sometimes is like if you don’t give us our bonuses, we are not going to play. So, this same problem we had back then, this generation has the same problem”, she concluded
Mavis Danso, who is now a coach and based in the USA also represented Ghana at the 2007 FIFA World Cup and played for the Black Queens in the failed attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in their tie against the Super Falcons in 2004.