GHANA’s female Under-20 football team, the Black Princesses are targeting another Women’s World Cup (WWC) appearance as they begin the qualifiers for the 2018 event to be staged in France.
On Friday, the Princesses begin their qualifying campaign with an away first round, first leg encounter against Algeria and they are determined to start on a very good note to keep their dream alive.
While the team will be aiming at a fifth straight WWC appearance, it will be a first attempt for their new coach Yusif Basigi, who has described the responsibility as a ‘relished challenge.’
Speaking with the Graphic Sports last Friday at their training, Coach Basigi said he relished the chance because it was a fresh challenge for him and was looking forward to it.
“Of course, since the Princesses made their debut appearance at the 2010 WWC, our predecessors have always ensured that they have been at every competition and we will want to keep that chain.”
Coach Basigi said he was happy with the response of the girls to the training so far and he was optimistic about their chances, first against Algeria and success in the entire qualifying campaign.
“With most of the girls drawn from the previous Under-17 side, there is enough exposure and experience at that level. I think we will build it up from there and I’m very optimistic about our chances.
“We want to qualify for France 2018, and we will do all within our means, a game at a time, to ensure that,” Basigi, who led the senior side, the Black Queens to success at the 2015 All Africa Games and to a bronze medal finish at last year’s Africa Women’s Championship, emphasised.
With the match in Algiers set to be played on an astro turf and under floodlights, Basigi last Friday led his ladies in what will be their only training schedule in Ghana to play a trial match at the Asamoah Gyan Sports Complex at Accra Academy.
The team spent over three hours training on the artificial pitch and under the lights, an exercise Coach Basigi described as ‘ crucial’ in their build up for Algeria.
The team are set to leave for Algiers on Wednesday.