Black Queens poised for friendly against Japan
Black Queens poised for friendly against Japan

Black Queens poised for friendly against Japan

The Black Queens of Ghana are brimming with a sense of optimism and readiness as they prepare to take on Japan in a prestigious international friendly at the Go Go Kanazawa Stadium on Saturday, July 13.

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 This clash is a crucial moment for the Ghana's coaching staff to evaluate the team's progress and future potential, as they embark on a new chapter following their narrow miss for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Build-up to match

Coach Nora Häuptle has been supervising training at the Seibu Ryokuchi park since last Tuesday ahead of the match, which is also vital for Japan's build-up to the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. 

Grace Asantewaa, a key midfielder of Ghanaian team who plies her trade with FC Juarez in Mexico’s Women’s Premier League, expressed her excitement and optimism about the potential benefits of this high-profile clash with the former world champions. After last Tuesday's training, she highlighted the importance of Saturday's encounter  in the Black Queens' rebuilding process.

"This game will help in our rebuilding process and will take us to a higher level," she said. 

"Japan is ranked seventh in the world and also qualified for the Olympic Games, so this should tell you they are a great team. I believe the game will be a good exercise for me as an individual and for us, collectively, as a team.”

Asantewaa also took a moment to express her gratitude towards the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for arranging this high-profile friendly. "We are thankful to the GFA; the journey to Japan has been a smooth one and our first training session over here was very successful.

We are happy with the culture here and ready for match day," she added, emphasisng the positive start to their Japanese adventure.

Rebuilding process
For Coach Häuptle and her squad, this friendly against Japan is more than just a warm-up; it’s a vital opportunity to assess their readiness for future challenges.

The Black Queens are gearing up for major upcoming tournaments, including the rescheduled 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, now set to take place next year in Morocco.

The 19-member squad has been carefully prepared, with the exciting return of two key players: Mukarama Abdulai and Princella Adubea. Both players are back from injury and eager to make their mark.

Adubea, the Trabzonspor forward, who has been sidelined for 10 months, is eager to contribute and make an impact.

She remains optimistic that the team can build on the positives achieved under their Swiss coach. "We need to be compact and focused. We don’t care about their world ranking; we can match them," she declared, demonstrating her readiness to rise to the occasion.

Mukarama Abdulai, another key returnee after a long absence from the national team, is focused on continuing her strong form after a successful campaign with Hasaacas Ladies to recapture the Malta Guinness Women's Premier League. 

"Playing with the Queens is a long-term goal. I aim to follow the coach’s plans and work hard to achieve both team and personal success," she stated, emphasising her commitment to achieving excellence on the field.

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