Black Princesses, Satellites poised for African Games success

Published on: 05 March 2024

Ghana's Black Princesses and Black Satellites carry the nation's hopes as they gear up for the 13th African Games with the determination to make a mark and excel on home turf.

With both teams set for action this week, their coaches are exuding confidence about their team's potential to achieve the ultimate in the football competition as their performances in the opening group fixtures will be pivotal in rallying national support behind the teams for success.

Black Princesses head coach, Yusif Basigi, believes his talented players have their eyes on the top prize and have the quality to achieve that goal of winning gold in the women's competition.

He asserted that the core of players who steered Ghana to qualification for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be instrumental in propelling the team towards glory. The Princesses begin their campaign against Ethiopia on Saturday, March 9 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, followed by matches against Tanzania and Uganda in Group A.

Coach Basigi is confident that the inclusion of experienced Hasaacas Ladies’ forward, Mukarama Abdulai, would be significant as her contribution would bolster the team's performance in their quest to finish on top of the Group A table and excel in the competition.

Abdulai, 21, brings significant tournament experience to the team, having won the Golden Shoe award as the top scorer at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay, and made a few appearances for the senior team, including participating in the 2019 WAFU Zone B Women's Cup.

"I have full faith in this team's capability to reach the final," Basigi affirmed. "While respecting our opponents, we are prepared to tackle any challenges that come our way."

“I want to state categorically again that we have what it takes to reach the final. I, in particular, am not afraid. I believe in this team to deliver because this was the same team that played in the 2024 World Cup Qualifiers and made it, so I believe they can do it again,” he told the Graphic Sports.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by their Group A counterparts, Basigi remains unfazed, citing meticulous preparation and the absence of complacency as crucial factors in their campaign.

“Our group is not an easy one but we are not afraid. We respect them as equally as our team but we are not complacent.”

“We are tackling all the aspects and departments of the game to keep the team in shape. So far, we don’t have any challenges because the Local Organising Committee, in collaboration with the Ghana Football Association, have done so well for camping us in the past two weeks,’ coach Basigi said.

The Group B fixtures will pit the Falconets of Nigeria against their counterparts from Senegal, Cameroun and Morocco.

Aligned with the Princesses' goal to excel, Black Satellites coach, Desmond Ofei, and his team wrapped up their preparations for the African Games with a 2-0 win over local Division One

League side, Venomous Vipers FC at the Robert Mensah Stadium in Cape Coast last Friday.

Expressing eagerness to make an impact, Coach Ofei stressed the team's hunger and readiness to showcase their skills at the tournament. With a string of preparatory matches under their belt, including a scoreless draw with Kpando Heart of Lions and wins over Hearts of Oak (1-0), Ebusua Dwarfs (3-1), Kings Palace (5-0), and Dwarfs (3-0), the Satellites are gearing up to face

Congo in their opening match at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, March 9, followed by encounters against The Gambia and Benin in subsequent Group A matches.

“This African Games means a lot to us and we want to prove something to the nation. The boys are really hungry and ready to showcase their talents,” Coach Ofei told about his side's readiness for the competition.

Coach Ofei urged Ghanaian fans to throw their support behind the team, emphasising the importance of home support as the team remains focused on delivering stellar performances and creating memorable moments for their supporters.

“We need the support of Ghanaians and it’s going to be an amazing event. We are hosting the tournament so fans should come and support us. I am sure we can do some magic in the African Games.”

Source: Graphic Sports