Ghana’s junior national teams, Black Maidens (Women’s U-17) and Black Princesses (Women’s U-20) have crucial 2021 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in October and November this year. The Maidens have a difficult test against rivals Nigeria with the Princesses set to face Guinea Bissau on a yet to be decided date in November.
Our Head Coaches Baba Nuhu (Maidens) and Yussif Basigi (Princesses) have been talking about team building, strategy, friendly matches and more.
This is what they told the Communications team:
On Maidens five months camping
It is one of the tests matches we have lined up so far to access how the girls are faring. We have been in camp for the past five weeks and taking them through a lot of things gradually. What I was looking for in this match is how to take our opponent out when they come attacking, because the whole of this week, we have been looking out to see how best we can play for our team strategy. My mind is not on the score line but they played very well in the first half and the second half I have to field other players as well so that in the absence of one or two players, I know how they can manage to play. I think am satisfied basically after spending five weeks in camp with this performance.
On Opponents, Nigeria
It is very important that at least we have an idea of our opponent but for now, we don’t have any information on them so we are going ahead with our preparation. We are playing home first so it’s our game strategy. They should be looking out for us on how they will be able to counter us. Even though its good for us to have an information about them, we don’t have it. I believe we are preparing for them and everything going to be okay.
Mood of players ahead of game
When people talk about my girls been scared, I laugh because this is not Black Stars vs. Green Eagles. Remember these are women sides, Under 17 sides. Ghana has always been a tough customer for this age category and I believe that, they will be more scared of us than we will do because we have always qualified to the tournament and excelled.
On team strength and what Nigeria brings to the table
If you look at our record of winning 10-0 against Liberia and that of Nigeria winning 10-1, I think that we are ahead of them I should say so. There has never been anything like getting scared of Nigeria. We are Ghana, they are Nigeria and we are two strong teams in Africa so we are going on with our preparations and when the match day comes, people will see what we are made of.
Meanwhile Princesses Coach Yussif Basigi is also working on his team for 2021 FIFA Women U-20 qualifiers. They first have to take on Guinea Bissau on a yet to be named date
Basigi on five weeks camping and training games
The five-week camping has not been in vain. We have worked on our players both Maidens and Princesses and are seeing glimpses of all that we have been teaching them, just that we still have one or two touches to do but in all, it has been very impressive for both teams.
On team condition and physical development
I think the players are well conditioned, my players and the Maidens have played a number of friendly games. They are well conditioned and appear very hungry no matter the crunch tackles and physicality in the games, they were on their feet. I am so much impressed with their conditioning and tactical play.
On date for first match not yet out
Actually, we are still waiting for them. We are weighing our training regiment so that we don’t over load the players for them to get to the red zone. At times we are a little bit considerate in terms of the loading the players but the Maidens, they already have the date for their game so as our date is not yet in, we are a bit cautious so we don’t give them much load that is why you could see that there is a little bit of fatigue in them. We don’t need to load them so much and they get to the red zone, by then the date will come and we be found wanting. That is why we are been considerate in terms of loading and pressurizing the players.