WAFU Zone B Champions League qualifiers: Ampem Darkoa face Amis Du Monde today

WAFU Zone B Champions League qualifiers: Ampem Darkoa face Amis Du Monde today

Ghana's super champions, Ampem Darkoa Ladies, are ready to script a different tale in their pursuit of a coveted spot in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Champions League, as they gear up for the upcoming WAFU B Qualifiers with a renewed sense of purpose and comprehensive preparations.

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They will open the qualifiers today, August 20, against Togolese side Amis Du Monde in Group B at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Nigeria.

In 2022, their aspirations were dashed after succumbing to a 0-3 defeat against Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens during the final of the WAFU Zone B qualifiers. This year, however, Ampem Darkoa Ladies are on a mission to secure qualification, leaving no stone unturned.

Mission

Over the past three weeks, Coach Nana Joe Adarkwa and his squad have been intently focused on fitness regimens, tactical drills, and passing exercises at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence at Prampram, with their attention firmly set on crucial Group B encounters against AS Garde Nationale from Niger and Togo's Amis du Monde during the qualifying campaign in Benin City, Nigeria, from August 19 -- September 3.

In Group A, the competition will be fierce, featuring Delta Queens of Nigeria, USFA of Burkina Faso, Athletico of Côte d'Ivoire and Sam Nelly FC of Benin.

Coach Adarkwa is resolute in his determination, combining meticulous research on opponents with rigorous training sessions at Prampram in readiness for the next WAFU Zone B qualifiers.

He said the disappointment of the previous year was behind them, and a fresh resolve was propelling them towards battling for qualification tickets to the continental tournament.

“Last year, we reached the final in the qualifiers but we couldn’t qualify for the Champions League but that is passed and gone. This is a new year; and this time, we will make sure to qualify for the main tournament,” he told Mirror Sports.

Reinforcements

The coach is not oblivious to the challenges ahead if the 'Nanamma' are to achieve their targets in both the domestic and international campaigns ahead. Coach Adarkwa has bolstered his squad with six new talents, including goalkeeper Charlotte Adjei from Rivers Angels of Nigeria, and the trio of Nancy Amoh, Diana Amoakoh and Linda Owusu Ansah from Supreme Ladies. Helena Obeng from Prison Ladies and Esther Owusu-Ansah from Ridge City FC complete the new additions. Recruitments, the coach believes, would provide his side with the needed depth and versatility.

“Helena Obeng is an attacking midfielder who can operate from the wings and I believe her inclusion in the team will help us. For goalkeeper Charlotte Adjei, she has a lot of experience because she used to play here in Ghana before she went to Nigeria,” Coach Adarkwa said.

The experienced gaffer is also banking his hopes on 2022 Women’s Premier League Best Player, Mary Amponsah, forward Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah and thr captain, Mavis Owusu.

“Technically, we do not have any challenges. The problems we had have been taken care of by the inclusion of the new players so we are good to go,” he added.

Confidence

Skipper Mavis Owusu echoed the team's determination and preparedness to rise to the challenge in the sub-regional tournament. She underscored the divine opportunity presented to them and expressed strong faith in their capability to rise to the occasion, saying the disappointment of the past had fuelled their determination to achieve a different outcome this time around.

"We believe that He (God) will see us through this time around. I can’t promise, but I believe we will qualify. All we need is massive support to deliver," she said.

Amidst their preparation, the Ghanaian champion acknowledged the importance of financial support to alleviate the financial burdens associated with their mission.

Both Coach Adarkwa and Yeboah appeal to individuals and corporate entities to contribute to the team's journey, as they aim to transcend their previous performance and etch their name in the annals of the CAF Women’s Champions League.

Champions League journey

Ampem Darkoa Ladies won the Malta Guinness Women’s Premier League title for the second time in a row to qualify for the zonal championship.

Morocco's AS Far are the reigning CAF Women's League Queens, having dethroned South African side, Mamelodi Sundowns, which won the trophy in 2021 after beating Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies in the final.

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