Nigeria appoint Thomas Dennerby as Super Falcons coach

Thomas Dennerby of Nigeria Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

The Nigeria Football Federation announced the appointment of Thomas Dennerby as Super Falcons head coach on a two-year deal subject to renewal on Thursday.

The experienced Swede, who was in charge of his nation's women's team for seven years, takes on his first coaching role in Africa with the 10-time continental champions.

He will be assisted by compatriot Jorgen Petersson, as the pair aim to transform the Super Falcons from continental heavyweights to world beaters.

"The NFF decided to go for a coach of the calibre of Thomas Dennerby for three reasons," NFF Second Vice President Shehu Dikko told the federation's official website. "To sustain and enhance the Super Falcons' dominance on the African scene; to take the Falcons and the other women teams to the next level of challenging for laurels at global competitions like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

"And to generally lay the foundation for the real development of women's football in our country."

Dennerby's appointment comes as a relief and a welcome development to female football stakeholders in the country following the unsuccessful engagement of Randy Waldrum, who turned his back on the Nigeria Football Federation after months of indecisiveness on the part of the governing football body.

"Dennerby will live in Nigeria most of the time and support the other women teams whenever he has the time," Dikko added. "The contract is until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo [initially], with the right for automatic renewal subject to meeting performance milestones as agreed.

"He will be in Nigeria very soon for the public unveiling," the federation's Head of Strategy continued. "The NFF Technical and Development Committee have already shortlisted three Nigerians to work with Messrs Dennerby and Petersson as assistant coaches and goalkeeper trainer.

"These three will resume work soon to start preparing the team for the upcoming WAFU Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire pending the resumption of Dennerby and Petersson."

Amaju Pinnick, President of the NFF, has been criticised for neglecting the Super Falcons in light of their inactivity since December 2016, but now has the opportunity to oversee an upturn in fortunes ahead of the team's African Women's Cup of Nations title defence in November.

They are also set to take part in the maiden edition of the WAFU Women's Cup of Nations in February, and are due to face France in an international friendly in April.