Coach Freeman Amponsah, Berry Ladies FC Coach says his team are ready to turn all the mistakes they did previously to make it right against Army Ladies FC on Saturday afternoon’s clash. Berries make the short trip to Mats Park at Teshie in the Malta Guinness Women’s Premier League action for the 3.00pm GMT kick-off.
Berry Ladies Fc drew with Army Ladies FC at home, Madina AstroTurf in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign, and will be looking to earn bragging rights on away soil this time around. Coach Freeman wants his charges to embrace the occasion across Mats Park, hoping they can give their travelling supporters something to cheer about.
Read on for the key points from his pre-match media briefing below during their friendly match with Right to Dream at Akosombo…
On the feeling within the squad ahead of the game…
The atmosphere has been great. We’ve put a lot of work in on the training ground and we’ve had a few bodies back this week as well, which has been great just for the bench and competition for places. It was a big loss against Faith Ladies FC, it’s been a mixed mood and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s match now.
On what he learned from the draw in the reverse fixture…
I think we tried to prepare the team as best we could in a sense of going to Madina Astroturf the day before, getting familiar with the park again, dressing room and the walk out onto the pitch because we were training before the match at a park near our camp. I think you could see in the first-half performance it affected us slightly. I thought second half we did a lot better, but we became too open at the back end of the game trying to chase it. It’s a catch because obviously you want to win these types of games playing at home, but we became too open at the back end of the game trying to chase it. The learning from that will live with us because we know what we need to do on Saturday afternoon. The pressure will be reversed onto Army Ladies FC playing at El-Wak Stadium or Mat Park. We’re looking forward to the occasion and I think from our perspective we learned a lot at home. We’re looking forward to hopefully putting the wrongs of that home draw right on Saturday.
On the latest team news in his squad…
Unfortunately, we had some slight injuries during training on Monday. Some players will still be out, and Priscilla Agyemang Sintim is now progressing really well, Jacqueline Amponsah is also back from the two yellow cards ban. Everyone else should be back fit as our team doctors and physiotherapists are doing all they can with recoveries, so we’ll have a fully fit squad to choose from. Martha Appiah was seen limping in our previous match, and we had to rest her to check on her, but she is also back in the squad, which has been great. It’s been great to have her back on the training pitch because she’s such an infectious person as well. We’re looking in good shape.
On whether his squad have ‘revenge’ on their mind…
I wouldn’t say revenge. We know what this match means to the club and the supporters. We would love to give our supporters the bragging rights. I think from the lessons we learned that day at Madina Astroturf, we can definitely put into practice. Army Ladies Fc are on amazing form and I think they sit second on the league now, but when it comes down to a clash between Army Ladies FC and Berry Ladies FC, I don’t think that will have any effect on it because it is the passion. I think whoever stays in control emotionally on Saturday will end up out on top.
On how different the squads are compared to the first meeting…
We’ve obviously had to adapt to the players we’ve had available at certain times this year with the formations that we’ve played. If you look at Army Ladies FC, they have played different formations and just of late they’ve played 4-3-3 quite a lot. They’ve made changes from January, and you can see its working for them, and this is a tough league, so I think there’s no easy games and you have to be performing week in, week out. We’ve been really unlucky with losing players to injury at the start of the season. We’ve found ourselves constantly having to adapt or change to that and I feel because of that it’s probably put more pressure on the players tactically.
In an ideal world what you want to try to do is have a formation that you’ve mastered and that you’re comfortable with and have the ability to change if you need to. We’ve not really been able to do that this year. But if you look at our January recruitment, we really wanted to go back to a 4-3-3 because we felt we had the personnel to do that. We had wingers in Portia Sakyiwaa, Jacqueline Amponsah, you’ve got Felicity Antwi Agyei, who is different to them as a wide player, Jafaru Rahama came in with that in mind because she played there in Northern Ladies Fc and can play in midfield. But then we lost Maybel Amoyaw and couple of forwards when Victoria Salifu was recovering from injury, I knew we’ve been a bit unlucky.
From our perspective, we’ve had a lot of challenges from who has been available, and I think we just want a bit of consistency now. Hopefully when we get the next two games out the way, we’ll have a fully fit squad to choose from and have the ability to do what we want.
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