Time running out for Ghana


THE technical heads of Ghana’s senior national women’s team and their Under-20 side, Black Queens and Black Princesses, have called for more international friendlies to help them prepare adequately for their pending international assignments.
The Princesses will travel to Papua New Guinea next month to participate in the Federation of the International Football Associations (Fifa) U20 Women’s World Cup, while the Queens will be in Cameroun, also next month, to compete in the Africa Women’s Championship.
In PNG, the Princesses will compete in group C against USA, New Zealand and France.
The Queens, on the other hand, hoping to win their first continental championship, will start their campaign in group B which also has Nigeria, Kenya and Mali.
Despite their tough group draws and with just weeks to round up their preparations, the teams are yet to have any international friendlies confirmed despite the request put in by their coaches, with their training so far restricted to weekly matches between the two sides.
In separate interviews last Friday, the two coaches sounded worried after their two sides played their second friendly match at their Prampram camping base.
“We have a difficult group at the World Cup and we really would love to have the best preparations for our campaign as we seek to progress past the group stage for the first time.
“However, it will not be enough to play just friendlies against local sides as they do not provide an unknown competitive edge, but always leave us prone to injury,” said Queens coach Mas-Ud Dramani.
“We have requested for some international friendlies, and we hope it will be treated as a matter of urgency to get at least one or two matches arranged for us.”
Princesses’ trainer, Yusif Basigi, on his part said, although his players were responding well to instructions ahead of the arrival of his foreign-based players, it would be preferable to assess the team’s real strength and weaknesses against tougher foreign opponents than the trial matches they usually had at home.
“While the local trial matches provide the team some time to train, the real test is when we play against other national teams, we had in the past relied on the local trial matches and it did not help us, so we will plead with the authorities to help us get one or two top matches before we head for Cameroun,” Basigi said.
An official of the Queens management committee told Graphic Sports that Ghana Football could only make arrangements for international friendlies upon approval from the ministry of youth and sports, who bear the financial responsibility of such matches.
“At the moment, there is even a challenge trying to get adequate funds for their camping at Prampram, we are ready to arrange those international friendlies considering their importance to their preparations, but all that is dependent on the support from the ministry,” said the official. – Graphic Sports, Ghana

Leave a Reply