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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Breaking new barriers
Simon Reeves
BBC Sport, Sweden

We are part of a team that is well-prepared and highly motivated
Yinka Kudaisi

Three Nigerian female players will make history on 17 April, when they become the first set of Africans to play in the Swedish championship.

Defenders Faith Ikidi and Yinka Kudaisi, as well as striker Maureen Mmadu - who all play for the reigning African champions - will play for QBIK.

The club narrowly escaped relegation last season and chairman Lars Inge Hallstensson hopes the presence of the three seasoned players will improve their fortunes.

While Kudaisi, who moved from Nigerian side River Angels is having her first taste of the European game, Mmadu and Ikidi come to QBIK from Norwegian side Klepp.

With many expecting the trio to play a key role in reviving the club's fortunes this season, Mmadu is aware that they have a lot to live up to.

"We have a lot to show here. But I am not under any pressure because I have proven myself in Europe," said Mmadu who was Klepp's top scorer last season.

"I just want to improve on what I did in Norway," adds the player who has scored 4 goals in warm-up games for her new club.

With talent coming in from Brazil, the USA and Sweden's Scandinavian neighbours, Kudaisi knows an impressive performance with QBIK could open doors for other Africans keen to play in Sweden.

"I have a good feeling that this is going to be a great season," she said.

"We are part of a team that is well-prepared and highly motivated."

Ikidi and Kudaisi, veterans of three World Cups and two Olympic tournaments, say they have been warmly received by their new colleagues.

"We have good leaders and wonderful team-mates who have warmly accepted us. I cannot see any reason why we will not succeed here," Ikidi says.

It is a sentiment that QBIK fans are hoping will come true.


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