Maidens impressive on German tour

15 years ago

New Zealand might be the place to show how far Ghana has come in its football development agenda, especially for girls below the 17 age barrier. But Ghana’s team have showed a bit of their potential already on their German tour.

From a sloppy start in the African qualifying campaign, which threatened the Black Maidens' – Ghana’s girls Under-17 side - bid to reach the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, the team overcame two successive defeats to manage a place in the list 16 of finalists for the maiden World Cup.

And to get their act together before the finals of the competition in New Zealand starts later this month, Ghana’s team have been brushing up in a training camp in Heusenstamm in the German region of Hessen, as part of their preparations for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

With support from the German federal government's Foreign Office, Ghana’s team have undergone intensive physical and technical training sessions as well as several friendly matches.

Ghana won two test matches and lost three.

The Black Maidens started off their test games with a high scoring 8-0 win over FC Schweinfurt 05's women's team, a 5-0 victory over a Hessen regional team and a 2-1 loss to FFC Frankfurt's second team, which was their biggest test, considering the size of the opposition.

But there were defeats also for the Ghana team as 4-1 a regional under-18 boy’s team beating the Black Maidens 4-1 before losing 1-0 to another regional select side, this time an Under-14 team.

"It is a great experience for the whole squad. This is the first time that any of the girls has been outside Africa so it's a real eye-opener for them. I am very satisfied with the way the training camp has been going and with the whole trip in general.

"Qualifying for the World Cup was already an incredible achievement for our team. We're heading to New Zealand determined to continue the learning experience," as coach of the Black Maidens, Abraham Allotey gave his general overview of the training camp.

Nanabanyin Eyison, chairman of the management committee of the Black Maidens, says the training camp has "boosted the performances" of the team.

“It’s been a good preparatory ground for the team. The tour showed us where we were lacking and I think the overall display of the team has been stepped up.

“We expect Ghana to make an impact at the competition. There were wins and defeats in our test games but the essence of all this games was to improve the squad for the challenges at the World Cup,” the football administrator said.

It might be an exciting tour but host of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011, Germany, expect to see Ghana again at the next World Cup.

Steffi Jones, the President of the Organising Committee of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011, who was on hand to welcome the Ghana women's U-17 squad to the headquarters of the German Football Association (DFB) said: "I'm delighted that the Ghana team has come to visit us.

"Women's football in Africa has real potential and the enthusiasm there for our sport is almost boundless. I hope that we will be seeing some of these girls again here in 2011."

Ghana would play in Group B at the World Cup where the Black Maidens join Germany, Korea DPR and Costa Rica.

The Black Maidens would open their Group B campaign against Korea DPR in Christchurch on October 29 before taking on Germany three days later with the final group match against Costa Rica.

The World Cup will be hosted by New Zealand from October 28 to November 16, 2008.