Ghana’s new Black Queens coach, Nora Häuptle has begun her tenure on a winning note as in her debut game in charge, her side beat Benin 3-0 in a friendly encounter at the Stade de l’Amitié GMK in Cotonou last Sunday (Feb.19).
Goals from Kiryat Gat’s striker, Princella Adubea, Princess Owusu of Fabulous Ladies and Norway’s Avaldsnes IL Evelyn Badu ensured that the Swiss coach scored full marks as she sets out to rebuild a team for their international assignments.
The friendly game against Benin formed part of preparations for the 2023 WAFU B Cup of Nations scheduled for next month and also the qualifiers for the African Women’s Cup of Nations in 2024 later this year.
Since being named and subsequent arrival in the country to take over from Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo as Queens coach on January 9, Coach Häuptle has spent the six weeks checking out over 90 players to find out who are good enough to earn a place in her team.
After two training sessions with local players to justify their inclusion, she finally named a squad and also invited some foreign-based players.
For this important good start against Benin’s Les Amazones, Coach Häuptle had to rely on goalkeeper Cynthia Fiindib Konlan, Real Betis Feminas midfielder, Grace Asantewaa, Sweden’s IFK Norrköping Azumah Bugre, Janet Egyir who now plays for Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC and Sweden-based Portia Boakye.
The local players who made it in the starting lineup included Hasaacas Ladies, Doris Boaduwaa, Ampem Darkoa’s Anaesthesia Achiaa and Adama Alhassan.
The team selected delivered and as they prepare to go into their second game under the new coach, another friendly against Togo on Saturday, she will be hoping to make it two out of two.
New technical direction
Last January, the Ghana Football Association made a complete overhaul of the coaching unit of the senior national team, the Black Queens.
Apart from naming the team’s first foreign coach in Coach Häuptle, two other changes were announced, with coaches Joyce Boatey-Agyei and Aboagye Dacosta also being named as the assistants to replace Charles Anokye Frimpong, Nana Sinasen and Raymond Fenny (Goalkeepers’ trainer)