Super Falconets striker, Sophia Omotola Omidiji, has spoken glowingly about the effects of the heroics of the Late Rashidi Yekini on her international aspiration.
The US-born striker is trying hard to blend into the Nigerian structure, using the national U-20 team which defeated Congo 4-1 last weekend to set up the last Chile 2016 FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifying clash with South Africa.
Omidiji, who schools at Webster University in Leiden, in addition to playing professional football in Holland for the women team of FC Eindhoven, described legendary Yekini and other great ex-Nigerian players as inspiring.
“I grew up in Las Vegas, listening to tales from my dad about the great Yekini, Segun Odegbami, Ben Iroha and many others. I want to etch my name on the list of players the Nigerian masses adore and inspire young girls in Nigeria the way those icons inspired me growing up.
“I never watched Yekin play, but my dad still talks about Yekini’s goal at USA ’94 and the marvellous celebration,’’ Omidiji reminisced.
She expressed excitement about her roll with the Under-20 side under the watch of Coach Peter Dedevbo, saying the team will reap from the infusion of players from the last U-17 and U-20 teams.
Omidiji said she was trying to learn the Nigerian direct and physical style of football which is a bit different from the European and American philosophy of ball possession and cashing on the opponents mistakes.
“I know I will blend into the team. I have to keep training hard, working hard to earn the confidence of the coach and his staff who are doing an amazing job in bringing me up to speed. I am excited to be here and soon I hope I can make a positive impact to help the team because at the end of the day it is about achieving the goal which is to bring the World Cup to this deserving nation’’.
The 18-year-old player said her ultimate ambition after her university stint is to get a UEFA coaching license and coach an African team and own a football team in Nigeria, where players who can play anywhere in the world will be produced.