Stand in coach, Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo, is confident her Black Queens team will excel at the maiden West African Football Union (WAFU) Women's tournament in Cote d'Ivoire.
Coach Mercy has named a 21-woman squad for the competition scheduled from February 14 to 25, and as the team left for Abidjan yesterday, the coach said: "We have a team that is hungry for success and want to have a good start as a build up to the 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations (AWCON).
"Preparation for the WAFU has been very intensive as we didn't have much time to prepare. However, I can confidently say that the team is a blend of experience at that level and also players who have just come out of a World Cup qualifer,” she told the Graphic Sports yesterday.
"Our objective for the WAFU is to get our team to gel as we build towards the AWCON, but definitely, we also have our sights on keeping our place among the best on the sub region and on the continent,” said Mercy, the assistant coach who was entrusted with head coach duties after the substantive coach, Didi Dramani, left for abroad.
“Being the first tournament in the sub region, there is no doubt that all participating teams will be out to be the first to win it. We also have similar aspirations, but we have a definite game plan on how to achieve that objective," the coach who herself played for the Queens in their maiden AWCON campaign in 1998, explained before the team left for Abidjan yesterday.
Indeed, the team have the core of the squad that finished third at the 2016 AWCON with all three goalkeepers, Nana Ama Asantewaa, Patricia Mantey and Fafali Dumehasi as well as Portia Boakye, Janet Egyir, Priscilla Okyere all on the list.
Also making the cut is intelligent and hardworking midfielder, Grace Asantewaa, who was instrumental in the Under-20, Black Princesses’ 2018 Women’s World Cup (WWC) qualifying campaign.
With captain Elizabeth Addo given permission to sort out her move to her new club in the USA, Portia Boakye has been named the captain of the team.
The Queens begin their WAFU campaign with a Group A opening game against the hosts, Cote d'Ivoire on Wednesday.
The WAFU squad:
Goalkeepers: Patricia Mantey, Nana Ama Asantewa, Fafali Dumehasi
Defenders: Janet Egyir, Gladys Amfobea, Ellen Coleman, Philicity Asuoko, Faustina Ampah, Grace Asare, Ernestina Tetteh
Midfielders: Juliet Acheampong, Mavis Owusu, Grace Asantewa, Priscilla Okyere, Rita Okyere,
Forwards: Portia Boakye, Jane Ayieyam, Alice Kusi, Liticia Zikpi, Ruth Appiah, Priscilla Saahene