5 Players Excluded As Black Queens Prepare For WAFU Tournament
Coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo has pruned the 30-man Black Queens squad to 25, after a week of training in Cape Coast to prepare for the defence of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone B title in Abidjan next month.
Coach Tagoe-Quarcoo invited the players for camp after the special competition and having assessed them based on work rate and fitness, five have been asked to return home.
The affected players are Joyce Antwiwaa Fenteng (Ashtown Ladies), El-Shaddai Acheampong (Kumasi Sports Academy), Horlali Attivor (Kumasi Sports Academy), Rabi Musa (Fabulous Ladies) and Samira Abdul-Rahman - PearlPia Ladies.
The Queens have played three trial matches since pitching camp in Cape Coast
The Queens plunged straight into training when they arrived in Cape Coast last week to begin their preparations, They have so far played three trial matches and are expected to play many more games in the coming days.
Coach Tagoe Quarcoo in an interview with the Graphic Sports, defended the technical team's decision to send the affected players home, saying those who have made the cut fits into her game plan for the title defence.
"Obviously, not all 30 players will make it to Abidjan. I wish I could given the fact that we are preparing for the WAFU as well as other international tournaments in the coming months. However, we are restricted in the numbers we can take along so, unfortunately, some would have to leave camp," she explained.
Coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo and her technical team
She also indicated that the number will be further pruned to the final 21 for the tournament which the Queens won at the maiden edition last year.
The second edition of the competition which will again be hosted by Cote d'Ivoire in Abidjan will kick off on May 8 and end on May 18. Ghana will begin their title defence from Group B where they are drawn against Mali, Nigeria and Guinea.
Hosts Cote d'Ivoire who were losing finalists in the maiden edition are pooled in Group A alongside Niger, Senegal and Benin Republic for the second edition of the tournament.
Togo and Burkina Faso, both from Zone B, will miss out of this year's edition and they have been replaced by Senegal and Mali, who are in Zone A.
The matches will be played at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny and Robert Champroux Stadia.
Juliet Acheampong, Alice Kusi and Grace Asantewaa who helped the Queens win the WAFU title hope to successfully defend it
The 25 players still in camp are:
Goalkeepers: Fafali Dumehasi (Police Ladies), Barikisu Isshaku (Northern Ladies), Abigail Tawiah-Mensah (Sea Lions), Azume Adams (Prisons Ladies)
Defenders: Janet Egyir (Hasaacas Ladies), Gladys Amfobea (LadyStrikers), Justice Tweneboa (Ampem Darkoa), Ellen Coleman (LadyStrikers) and Anastasia Akyaa (Sea Lions), Linda Addai (Soccer Intellectuals), Rita Okyere (Prisons Ladies), Grace Ntiful (Hasaacas Ladies) and Veronica Darkwah (Ashtown Ladies)
Midfielders: Juliet Acheampong (Prisons Ladies), Grace Asantewaa (Ampem Darkoa), Diana Weige (Halifax Ladies), Blessing Agbomadzi (Sea Lions)
Forwards: Alice Kusi (Fabulous Ladies), Mavis Owusu (Ampem Darkoa), Mukarama Abdulai (Northern Ladies), Jane Ayieyam (Police Ladies), Ernestina Tetteh ((Halifax Ladies), Elizabeth Owusua (Sea Lions), Grace Animah (Police Ladies), Faustina Kyeremeh (Immigration Ladies) and Leticia Adjei (Samaria Ladies).