Coach Thomas Dennerby has sprung several surprises on the Super Falcons final squad for forthcoming Women’s World Cup after he named five players who earlier this month won the sub-regional WAFU Nations Cup in Abidjan.
Thirty-three-year-old midfielder Evelyn Nwabuoku, defender Chidinma Okeke, goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan as well as strikers Alice Ogebe and Uchenna Kanu shone at the WAFU Nations Cup to earn their places in the party to France next month.
Nwabuoku caught the eye in a new defensive role at the tournament, while university undergraduate Kanu emerged top scorer with nine goals.
Brighton forward Umotong Ani and Sweden-based defender Josephine Chukwunonye were the surprise exclusions.
Onome Ebi, 35, will feature at her fifth World Cup in France.
Top stars Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega made the 23-player final list.
Nigeria tackle Norway in their opening Group A game on June 8.
They will also face hosts France and South Korea.
The final squad:
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels)
Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Ngozi Ebere (Arna Bjornar, Norway); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo)
Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskiltuna United, Sweden); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels); Ogonna Chukwudi (Djurgardens IF, Sweden); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskiltuna United, Sweden); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons)
Forwards: Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Anam Imo (Malmo FC Rosengard, Sweden); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Uchenna Kanu (Southeastern University, USA); Rasheedat Ajibade (Alvadsnes IL, Norway); Francisca Ordega (Shanghai W. FC); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels), Chinwendu Ihezuo (Henan Huisanhang, China)