Coach Huptle gets full house

The Black Queens yesterday had their first full training session with all 23 invited players present alongside new mid­fielder, Freda Ayisi, at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The Charlton Athletic star girl, who has had stints with Lewes WFC, Birmingham WFC, and Arsenal WFC, joined the team on Monday night, four days before the Queen’s third round Olympic Games qualifier against the Cop­per Queens of Zambia.

The Black Queens are a few games away from qualification for their first ever Olympic appear­ance, and Head Coach Nora Häuptle believes her inclusion would add bite to the team’s attack.

The 40-year-old coach moni­tored Ayisi’s performance during her trip to England to watch the English WSL 2 game between Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace Women last year, in which the right winger, who lasted 60 minutes, assisted the only goal for her side in a 1-1 draw.

Having qualified for the Wom­en’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAF­CON), Coach Häuptle is hoping to supervise the team’s qualification to the Paris Games later in August.

“She is a good addition to the team, she is one that would help the team going forward just like the others.”

Among the other late arrivals were Victoria Antwi, Linda Eshun, Jacqueline Owusu Adjei and strik­er, Gifty Assifuah.

The Black Queens will host the Copper Queens at 5p.m on Friday, at the Accra Sports Stadium in the first leg, with the reverse tie taking place in Ndola, Zambia, next Wednesday.

The winner of the tie will move on to the final round of qualifi­ers, where they are likely to face the winner of the Tunisia versus Morocco game in April for a slot at the Olympic Games.

The Zambians arrived in the country last night in a buoyant mood ahead of the clash on Friday with danger girl, Racheal Kun­dananji, confident of returning home with a favourable result.