Players in the Black Queens camp are waiting with bated breath to know their fate as coach Bashir Hayford names a provisional 30-man squad today for the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Together with the foreign-based players, there are about 38 players available for selection and out of this figure, Hayford is expected to name the provisional before the decision is made on the final 21 next week
He has been tight-lipped on who is going to make the final cut. However, the Daily Graphic is predicting that the team would be dominated by the foreign-based players as the coach looks set to name a squad that can ‘host and win’ the tournament Ghana is hosting for the first time.
While Coach Hayford would have loved to have more of the local players he has worked with during the past eight weeks of preparation, he is also aware of the stakes in this Women’s AFCON and would thus trade the determination and zeal of most of the local stars for the tournament experience, depth of talent and flair of foreign-based players.
Almost all the players, who won the WAFU Zone B tournament in Abidjan earlier this year, are tipped to make the cut, just as the likes of Samira Suleman and Linda Eshun, who were instrumental in the Queens’ campaign at the 2016 tournament.
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Sandra Owusu-Ansah, who impressed during the 2018 Women’s World Cup in France, could also make the list to strengthen the attack.
Despite not having enough time to train with the foreign-based players, there is no doubt about their quality and that could influence the final decision.
The Daily Graphic’s possible squad:
Goalkeepers: Patricia Mantey (Immigration Ladies), Nana Ama Asantewaa (Police Ladies), Fafali Duhemasi (Police Ladies), Azume Adams.
Defenders: Gladys Amfobea (LadyStrikers), Linda Addae (Soccer Intellectuals), Philicity Asuako (Police Ladies), Veronica Darkwa, Janet Egyir (Aftuklding FC, Iceland), Linda Eshun (Grindavik FC, Iceland), with Faustina Ampah (FC Minsk, Belarus).
Midfielders: Rita Okyere (Prisons Ladies), Juliet Acheampong (Prisons Ladies), Leticia Zikpi (Immigration Ladies), Grace Asantewaa (Ampem Darkoa), Diana Wiege (Halifax Ladies), Elizabeth Addo (New Western Sydney Wanderers).
Forwards: Lily Niber-Lawrence (Hasaacas Ladies), Jane Ayeyiam Akalachiba (Police Ladies), Priscilla Eghan (Cyprus), Alice Kusi (Zouk Mosbeh Girls FC), Portia Boakye (Djurgårdens IF in Sweden), Priscilla Okyere (ZFK Spartak Subotica, Serbia), Sandra Owusu-Ansah (Zouk Mosbeh Girls FC), Samira Suleman (Afturelding/Fram, Iceland), Sherifatu Sumaila (LA Galaxy Orange County,USA).