Nigeria U17 star Aliima Attervall Alase has expressed her gratitude for being part of the much celebrated Flamingos side which finished third at the recently concluded FIFA Women’s Under 17 Championship in India.
Alase who is celebrating her 16th birthday on Sunday, November 6 spoke with a section of the media on the team’s return from India, expressing words of appreciation for the team’s technical crew and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“It has always been a dream for me to wear the green and white colours of Nigeria so when an invite was extended to me to come try out in camp, I knew I must not let the opportunity slide,” began the very confident teenager.
“It was a bit of a different terrain for me but you know, when there’s a will, there’s a way so I gave it all I had and I’m grateful that it was enough to be among the privileged ones that made it to India.
“I want to use this medium to thank our coach, Coach Bankole, the entire members of the backroom staff, my teammates, fans and the Football Federation for giving me the chance to represent the country,” said Alase.
The IFK Göteborg of Sweden starlet was one of five players that did not get to feature for Nigeria at the tournament in India but that did not do anything to diminish her fulfilment as a Nigerian youth international.
“Yes I am a little sad that I didn’t get to feature but I understand the fact that the team had momentum and sometimes, coaches do not want to disrupt it. That doesn’t stop my happiness with this golden bronze medal I have which I will cherish for life,” she stressed further.
On what is next after the U17 tournament, Alase says she hopes to mature into the first team of IFK Göteborg in order to garner ample experience and hopefully come back to represent Nigeria at the Under 20 level in two years’ time.