Mum secretly took dad’s money to support my career – Super Falcon Striker Nnadozie

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Super Falcons goalkeeper , Chiamaka Nnadozie, the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the Women ’ s World Cup , tells KELVIN EKERETE about her experiences with the national team , her humble beginnings and more in this interview

You joined Paris FC from Rivers Angels in January on an 18 - month deal . How are you coping with the new environment ?

It hasn ’ t been easy , I miss my family in Nigeria so much , but I also have a family here. I’ ve been able to adjust to the weather in France . I came here during the winter season . When I came in , the weather was really cold and I used to wear about three cloths in all but after a while , I only wear one and my jacket is enough to keep me warm .

How did you begin your football journey?

Football runs in my family. I grew up in the midst of boys that loved playing football . I was the youngest girl and whenever I went out to play with the bigger girls, they chased me away but when I got home , I was always stuck with my siblings and cousins , who are boys. Most times when they played football , I just sat and watched , but with time , I joined them and that was what inspired me to start playing.

Was goalkeeping your first choice position ?

Becoming a goalkeeper was never part of the plan for me . In 2012, during the National Sports Festival period , we were preparing for an elimination game in Umuahia . We were playing a friendly game against an academy’ s U - 13 boys and were losing 12 - 2 . We went for the game with just one keeper and at a point , she became tired . I asked the coach if I could go and take her place and he was skeptical about letting me play , so he took a ball and tested my ball-handling skills. He was impressed with it and after the game , he called me to a corner and advised me as a father .

He assured me of making the squad if I continued keeping . I refused . So , whenever I went for training, he would keep me on the bench . He saw the talent in me and that was something I couldn ’ t see in myself at that time . After some time , my friends advised me to obey the coach.

When my coach saw the change , he encouraged me , bought gloves for me and that was how I became a goalkeeper .

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