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Hockey News of Tuesday, 6 November 2012

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Ghana begins preparation for hockey World League R2

Ghana’s senior national women’s hockey team, Black Sticks Ladies, began training yesterday at the National Hockey Stadium (NHS) to kick-start their preparation for the World Hockey League Series Round 2.

The second round of the World Hockey League will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from January 21 to January 27, 2013.

Ahead of the January showdown, 24 players have been called by the technical bench headed by Coach Boakye Yiadom with assistance from Coach Eddie Odamtey.

Speaking to Times Sports at their training session, Coach Odamtey said the team was in good shape with every player fully fit and in high spirits for the tournament.

He said the camping date for the team was yet to be determined but until then the team would continue with their regular training schedules every morning at the hockey stadium.

Coach Odamtey, also known in his playing days as ‘Machine’ was optimistic that the team would do all it could to qualify to the next round of the league and also make it to the World Cup and Olympic qualifying zone.

Some of the players who have been given the greenlight for training include; captain of the side Georgina Sam from Reformers Ladies of the Ghana Prisons Service. Other players from the team are Theresa Mills, Gloria Darko, Benedicta Adjei and Joana Owusu.

Some are Joanita Korwu, Abass Ramatu, Rejoice Awaga, Emelia Aggrey and Rachael Bamfo who were also drawn from Extinguishers of the Ghana Fire Service.

Dorcas Aboagye, Deborah Gyasi, Grace Mensah, Cecilia Amoako and Janet Adampa were called from the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), while Linda Barnie and Emelia Fosuaa were invited from the Ark Ladies. Elizabeth Opoku is also a student from the University of Ghana, Legon.

Black Sticks Ladies gained qualification to the second round of the league series after Ghana’s successful hosting of the first round in which they triumphed over the Nigerian counterparts in a three-tier game.

The tournament, which is introduced to give more playing opportunities to hockey playing nations as well as easing their ranking, also replaces the World Cup, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games qualifiers from 2014.

Ghana will be playing against the likes of South Africa, Russia, Belgium and Azerbaijan.