For the first time in the history of Women’s Football in Ghana, the country is hosting its first Women’s Championship (AWCON) where it’ll host seven other African Countries including, Algeria, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Mali for a period of two weeks.
The Senior Women’s National team, the Black Queens will begin their quest to “host and win” the Continental football event on home soil for the first time in the country’s history after several attempts proved futile.
With assistant coach Mercy Tagoe in the Queens dugout, she will serve as a huge source of inspiration as she’s undoubtedly a role model to the ladies having risen through the ranks in her football career where she chalked some successes.
Head coach Bashir Hayford and his charges will set up the tournament with the opening fixture against the Fennecs of Algeria who are looking to make it to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Prior to the tournament, the Black Queens have been involved in a series of Pre-AFCON warm-up games both locally and on the international scene.
They played three International friendlies where they lost away to Zambia 3-2, sharing the spoils with the Harambee Starlets of Kenya (1-1) in Kasarani and rounding it off with a slender home win against the Bayana Bayana of South Africa in Accra.
The Black Queens have been together for some time considering many of them came through the youth ranks to the senior side. 15 of the 21 players invited for this tournament were in Cameroon for 2016 AWCON.
The team heads into the tournament on the back of the WAFU Zone B tournament success in Ivory Coast and they look a stronger unit under coach Hayford’s tutelage considering the team is a blend of foreign and locally based players.
Though the team falls short in the goalkeeping department and losing two of their top strikers (Sandra Owusu Ansah and Priscilla Hagan) as a result of injuries.
The team may look jittery in one area or the other, but the gaffer of the side Coach Bashiru Hayford is optimistic about his team’s chances and has reiterated this is the best team at his disposal.
He believes the Queens will hitch their horses together and perform to the billing.
The positive vibe ahead of the tournament has been massive but with the lack of paraphernalia’s and the low publicity amongst the Ghanaian football circles, then you can ask questions if indeed the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has done enough in that respect.
The LOC could have done better in terms of publicizing the tournament considering a fair chunk of football lovers in Ghana barely discuss or show interest in women football.
They could have used ‘celebrities’ who are influential to serve as ambassadors to help with the publicity and marketing the tournament.
Head Coach Bashiru Hayford is very optimistic about his team and with the performance, he has seen them put up in recent times, he believes his side will be a force to be reckoned with when the tournament kick starts at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Let’s all throng the stadium in our numbers to support the Black Queens this Saturday as they go all out to clinch the ultimate.
GOOD LUCK BLACK QUEENS!