Basigi tips Black Princesses to win WAFU B tourney
The Head Coach of the national U-20 women’s team, the Black Princesses, Abdul Yusif Basigi, has expressed his side’s readiness to go all out and annex the Holy Grail at the inaugural Union of West African Federations (UFOA) Zone B Women’s U-20 Cup of Nations tournament slated for Kumasi from tomorrow to June 4.
The tournament will see countries like Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Togo, Nigeria and Burkina Faso to join the host, Ghana, for the showpiece.
Coach Basigi, who guided his side to an 11-0 defeat over Niger at the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday, told Times Sports in a chat that his side was ready to battle the rest of the countries for the title.
“We’ve had one of the very best of preparations for such a tournament, and indeed we are ready to face any team that comes against us.”
Ghana has been drawn in Group A alongside Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.
According to Coach Basigi, the challenge the two countries pose was surmountable and was confident his Black Princesses was loaded for bear.
“We have a little bit of information on these opponents; however, we are still scouting them to have a comprehensive dossier on each one of them before the tournament starts tomorrow in Kumasi.
When drawn on countries he believes would offer the biggest opposition in the championship, Coach Basigi refused to name any particular country, especially his prediction for the final game, noting that, “I am focused on seeing this team through to the final, and play whichever country that joins us. We’re ready to face any country.”
“Football has a funny way of acting up; you predict and it fails you. I am not going to predict, but we are going all out for whatever is at stake in this tournament, and I know Ghanaians would support us to achieve this.”
Coach Basigi said playing as host of a tournament often comes with some amount of pressure, but was confident his girls were aware and prepared for that.
“This kind of pressure comes with such tournaments but my girls are ready. I have advised them to live above it and be themselves. They only have to obey instruction play according to our plan.
“As for the pressure, it will always be there; we have the men to work on them psychologically in order not to be affected but overall, the girls are fine and would be ready to start on a good note tomorrow.”
Coach Basigi said Kumasi fans know what it takes to support the national teams and expects them to fill the stadium in their numbers to cheer the Black Princesses on to victory.
“They have done it for the other national teams. It is the turn of the Black Princesses, and I want them to come out in their numbers even more than they did for the other national teams and support us to victory.
Basigi’s team was at its devastating best as they took an 8-0 first-half lead against the Junior Female Ménas with a hat-trick from Faiza Seidu and a brace each from Maafia Nyame and Stella Nyamekye, with one from Helen Alormenu as they spanked the Nigeriens 11-0.
Back from the break, Nyamekye added another to grab her hat-trick before substitutes, Tracy Twum and Mary Amponsah added their names to the list.
Meanwhile, Coach Basigi has named Stella Nyamekye captain of the team ahead of their tournament opener against Benin today at 3 p.m.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY