We are ready for them! … Black Queens coach roars after Total Women Cup of Nations draw

Hayford - Ever ready

Hayford – Ever ready

HEAD coach of the senior women’s national team, Black Queens, Coach Bashir Hayford, is unfazed by the threat posed by his Group A opponents in the upcoming African Women’s Cup of Nations tournament.

Ghana’s Black Queens, three-time finalist at the biennial tournament, were on Sunday drawn against three-time finalist Cameroon, emerging force Mali and North African side Algeria, in Group A of the African Women’s Cup of Nations draw held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel on Sunday.

Moments after the draw, many football connoisseurs of the women’s game on the continent have tagged Group A as the group of death, declaring that Ghana would be in a battle of their lives to advance from the group.

However, sharing his thoughts after watching the final draw for the tournament, coach Hayford stated that his side was not perturbed by the threat posed by his opponents.

“We have been in camp for a while now preparing for the tournament and looking forward to the draw to know our opponents.”

According to him, all the countries at the finals are strong, “and my technical team and I would do our best and face our opponents as they come.”

“Now that we know who we are playing, we would put in motion the next level of preparation and when the time comes, we will face them squarely.

“Monitoring our opponents was a bit problematic, but now that we know our opponents, we are going to monitor them very well, prepare very well and meet them squarely,” he stated.

Coach Hayford noted that before the draw, arranging for friendlies was not easy.

“However, with the draw in place, countries in the other groups would open up to play us and we would make the best of them to be ready.”

As to whether Ghana is in a group of death, Coach Hayford said there are no minows in football today and that both groups are equal in terms of talent.

Asked when he expects to have all his foreign-based players in camp ahead of the tournament, he said per the FIFA rules, the players have to be with the national team two weeks to the tournament “and that is the situation I may have to cope with now.”

Coach Hayford, who is taking charge of the team for the second time, believes together with coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo, who led the side to win the 2018 WAFU B Women’s Cup in Cote d’Ivoire earlier this year, they would do their very best to deliver the trophy for Ghanaians for the first time.

Ghana will open the tournament against Algeria at the Accra Sports Stadium on November 17 at 3:30pm before playing Mali on November 20 and Cameroon three days later.

Defending champions Nigeria has been drawn in Group B alongside South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia who would be based in Cape Coast.

The final three sides will qualify for next year’s World Cup in France.

BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

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