By Emmanuel Afonne
Imo Strikers FC on Friday defeated Dannaz Ladies 1-0 to win the 2023 edition of the Sheroes Cup tournament which was played at the Area 3 football pitch in Abuja.
The only goal was registered in the 57th minute, courtesy of an own goal after a well-taken corner kick by Oparanmegwa Pattra.
The victory ensured that the Owerri-based female team won the pre-season tournament, organised by Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) for Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Championship and nationwide clubs.
Eight clubs from different parts of the country participated in the week-long competition.
Coach of Imo Strikers, Nelly Orisakwe, attributed their success to hard work and prayer.
“We sacrificed a lot and we worked so hard. For the first time we are participating in this tournament and we won.
“We have seen our weaknesses collectively and individually, I will go back and prepare them for the task ahead.”
Also speaking, Coach of Dannaz Ladies, Bashiru Fatai, said the competition had helped them to discover the loopholes in the team ahead of the commencement of the league.
President of RSDF, Paul Edeh, during the prize presentation, promised to sustain the sponsorship of the competition since it served as pre-season tournament for most clubs.
“This pre-season tournament for Championship and Nationwide teams is in its 5th edition and it was conceptualised to help prepare the clubs ahead of the commencement of the NWFL, Championship and Nationwide leagues.
“Amazingly, the competition has also thrown up lots of talents as well as revealed that the FCT Football Association (FA) is supportive of women football development in Nigeria.
“We will continue to partner with the FCT FA which indeed is one of the best football associations in Nigeria,” Edeh said.
The RSDF boss later presented N2 million as the price money for the teams.
Overall winners of the competition pocketed N500,000 being the prize money in addition to the trophy while the first and second runners up smiled home with N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.
A total of N400,000 was shared among the other six participating teams.
The Foundation also gave N50,000 to each of the eight participating teams for feeding at the commencement of the tournament.
Nicholas Elechi, a member of the Board of Trustees of RSDF, donated N200,000 to the winners while urging them to keep winning.
The Foundation also gave a set of jerseys and five balls each to all participating clubs. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi