When the history books are rolled out about the female talents that donned Nigeria’s symbolic green-white-green colours to commendable international glory, former Super Falcons goalkeeper, Ann Chiejine is sure to rank among the very best.
Ann, born on February 2, 1974, was a prominent member of the female football team which was a cynosure of all eyes for its flair and achievements.
Nigeria’s early, and sustained, dominance on the African women football was in no little measure due to Ann’s ability and sharp reflexes as the “man” between the sticks for the team.
Ann was not just reliable in goalposts, she had unique headgear to accentuate her beauty. Ann provided the Falcons with safe and capable hands.
Alongside stars like Mercy Akide, Florence Omagbemi, Perpetua Nkwocha, Stella Mbachu and many others, Ann provided the Falcons with safe and capable hands which secured no lesser than four African titles.
During one of those record-laying triumphs by the Falcons, particularly in South Africa in 2004, Ann unknowingly manned the sticks with a four-month-old pregnancy.
The pregnancy was uncovered midway into the championship following a dope test on her by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).
She once recalled the experience, “It was a big risk to have kept the post with pregnancy because I exposed myself to great danger but like I’ve said earlier I never knew. If I had known I was pregnant, I would have withdrawn from the squad before the submission of the final team list but thank God I was never hurt throughout the championship.”
After Ann hung her gloves following a successful playing career spanning over a decade, she was appointed an assistant coach for the 2016 African Women’s Championship, alongside former teammate, Florence Omagbemi.
Ann’s experience and contributions at the competition came in handy, landing the Falcons their 10th record-extending title in Cameroon. Ann is currently the head coach of Abia Angels.
Footnotes of Ann’s illustrious career:
- Born Ann Chiejine on February 2, 1974, in Lagos.
- Represented Nigeria at four (4) African Women’s Championships: 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 (The Falcons won all four).
- Represented Nigeria at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- Represented Nigeria at three (3) FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments.
- Retired from international football in 2005.
- Completed a successful coaching course at the National Institute for Sports, Lagos, in 2005.
- Served as assistant coach for the 2016 African Women’s Championship (The Super Falcons won their 10th title).
Ann Chiejine is a team captain on Star Lager Beer’s new music and football platform, Star Music The Fusion.
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