After almost eight weeks of training with local-based players and yet to check out the foreign-based players he has invited, Ghana coach, Bashir Hayford, is expected to submit his provisional squad of 30 players for the upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations to the Confederation of Africa (CAF) by Friday.
Since the team started preparations in August, Coach Hayford has worked with about 30 players, but at the moment, has 24 players as some of the key players initially called up have had foreign deals and thus left camp to honour those contract.
Which players will make the final cut for the Queens for the 2018 Women's AFCON?
Players like defender Rosemary Ampem, Edem Atovor, who were considered key to the Queens' preparations, left last month after securing deals in France, leaving the technical handlers with no option than to call up replacements.
Having invited about 10 foreign-based players, Coach Hayford has also extended an invitation to experienced Samira Suleman with Iceland's Afturelding/Fram and Sherifatu Sumaila who plays for USA Women's Soccer League side, LA Galaxy Orange County.
The foreign-based players have begun arriving for national duty, but the Queens coach will get the full compliment of the team by November 3, when the last batch of four players are expected to arrive in camp.
With a deadline to meet though, Coach Hayford has told the Graphic Sports online that he will name the foreign-based players in the provisional squad and make his final decision of who to drop when he has to select the final 21 for the tournament, made up of three goalkeepers and 18 outfield players.
"It has been a bit challenging having to work with players and then in the middle of the programme, they leave for foreign contracts. Unfortunately, one can not stop them, so we worked with the players we had at our disposal.
"We are now required to name a provisional squad of 30 and after all the work, we
The Queens coach will get the opportunity to assess the foreign-based players before naming his final 21 squad for the tournament in the first week of November.
The foreign-based players could not join their home-based colleagues in time due to their clubs’ insistence in releasing them only two weeks to the tournament scheduled for November 17 to December 1.
The Queens are gearing up for the 2018 Women's AFCON
Players available for Queens selection
Goalkeepers: Patricia Mantey (Immigration Ladies), Nana Ama Asantewaa (Police Ladies), Fafali Duhemasi (Police Ladies) and Azume Adams.
Defenders: Priscilla Lartey (Valued Girls), Gladys Amfobea (LadyStrikers), Linda Addae (Soccer Intellectuals), Philicity Asuako (Police Ladies) and Veronia Darkwa.
Midfielders: Perpetual Agyekum (Hasaacas Ladies), Rita Okyere (Prisons Ladies), Ellen Ampong (Sea Lions), Juliet Acheampong (Prisons Ladies), Leticia Zikpi (Immigration Ladies), Alberta Asante (Police Ladies), Grace Asantewaa, Diana Wiege (Halifax Ladies).
Forwards: Lily Niber-Lawrence (Hasaacas Ladies), Gifty Appiah (Immigration Ladies), Jane Ayeyiam Akalachiba (Police Ladies).
The foreign-based players who have arrived are Alice Kusi (Zouk Mosbeh Girls FC), Janet Egyir (Aftuklding FC, Iceland), Linda Eshun (Grindavik FC, Iceland), Elizabeth Addo (New Western Sydney Wanderers).
Faustina Ampah (FC Minsk, Belarus), Portia Boakye, Priscilla Okyere (ZFK Spartak Subotica, Serbia), Sandra Owusu-Ansah (Zouk Mosbeh Girls FC), Priscilla Eghan (Cyprus), Faustina Kyeremeh (Immigration), Elizabeth Owusuaa (Sea Lions), Samira Suleman, Sherifatu Sumaila (LA Galaxy Orange County) and Wasila Diwura Soale expected to arrive by the end of the month.
Ghana are paired in Group A with Algeria, Mali and Cameroun and will play at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Their opening game will be against Algeria on November 17 after the opening ceremony, play Mali on November 20 with the final group game against Cameroun on November 23.
Group B to be based in Cape Coast, has defending champions, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Kenya are in Group B.