Super Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie has opened up on her journey to stardom in the round leather game.
Nnadozie who is on the book of French women’s league side FC Paris starred for Nigeria Super Falcons in the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup.
At 19, Nnadozie started three out of the four games the Super Falcons of Nigeria played at the tournament, including the round of 16 defeat against host nations France.
While reflecting on how she began her career in the game, the former Heartland Queens shot-stopper said she started as an outfield player, before her coach converted her to a goalkeeper.
“I got to train with my brothers and their friends. One them enrolled me into an Academy in Owerri named Nwudu Football Academy now Heartland Queen FC.” she said in an Instagram interview with the NFF.
“I started as a right wing-back, then I switch to a striking role. But most times when there’s no space for me to play, my brothers send me between the posts to keep for them.
“At the Academy, I was a player until one faithful day when we are playing against Campus Academy also in Owerri, our goalkeeper looked so tired after conceding two goals. I turned to the coach and said – let me replace her, she looks tired already.”
“He later agreed and I made some fantastic saves in the first five minutes. After seeing my performance that day, he wanted me to switch to goalkeeping. We were preparing for the National Sports Festival when he approached me and said ‘we have senior and better players than you in the team.
“There’s no assurance you are going to make the team except as a goalkeeper.’ He promised to teach me the basics of goalkeeping and trained me to be a professional one. I started keeping with bare hands.
“He later bought me my first gloves and boots to encourage me.” She told NFF media team on Instagram chat.
Nnadozie who has since become Falcons first-choice goalkeeper won the 2019 Nigerian League title with Rivers Angels, Nnadozie helped Nigeria win the regional Wafu Women’s Cup of Nations title and African Games gold in 2019.
She is the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.