Nigeria international and Paris FC goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie has revealed that her career in becoming a goalkeeper was orchestrated by her brothers, the SportsBay.com reports.
Nnadozie shone brightly as the Falconets reached the U20 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals in France – the same country where she inspired the Super Falcons to the Women’s World Cup Round of 16 for the first time since 1999 last year.
Her biggest achievement at her maiden senior World Cup was when she emerged as the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the tournament in Nigeria’s 2-0 win over South Korea – the country’s only triumph at the event.
The former Rivers Angels star, who moved to the French top-flight outfit in January, shared how she started out in several positions before settling to be a goalkeeper according to Goal.
“I was told my father played football. My elder brothers and cousin’s sisters also play football but not as professionals,” Nnadozie said in an Instagram interview with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“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.
“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.”
The 19-year-old had starred for Nigeria at the U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, where they failed to progress from the group stage in 2016 and further disclosed how she was discovered.
“My coach looked at me and laughed with an unserious facial expression, he said ‘we are trailing two goals with a keeper and you want me to play without a keeper’,” she continued.
“He later agreed and 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.”