Every word from Coach Freeman Amponsah: With a crucial match against Ridge City Football Club, Coach Freeman Amponsah held his pre-match press chat with www.berryladiesfcgh.com to chat about our upcoming trip to Madina Astroturf.
The Coach fielded questions on our approach to Ridge City game, our mentality heading into the away and end of the season, Jafaru Rahama’s departure, and much more.
Here is everything he had to say:
on Jafaru Rahama’s departure:
Jafaru Rahama had a great loan run with Berry Ladies FC and her addition to the club was just amazing for us to move from the 7th position to the top 4 but she has to also be at Jordan to continue her career there but I believe her management will soon put a word out there concerning her transfer but I can confirm she won’t be part of our squad against Ridge City Football Club
on the Team she is now:
I’ll leave that to management and her management to bring a word out on that.
on potentially preparing for the end of the season and start of champions cup without Jafaru:
Well at the moment we don’t have her. We are preparing for this final game without her and the champions cup, obviously, it’ll probably come too soon as well. We have to go week by week for the moments.
on Cynthia Yiadom Boakye’s availability:
Our Captain Cynthia has been out. Hopefully, she will be able to train today but she’s still a doubt.
on whether we have any other injury doubts:
No, the rest are okay.
on picking apart the mistakes from the Thunder Queens win:
Human errors. Players make a lot of brilliant decisions, and they make mistakes. The areas where you don’t make mistakes probably define the extent or the consequences of the mistakes, and obviously, where we made those mistakes, we were almost punished. But looking back at the last two games, taking that apart – we deserve to win both games, without a question of a doubt.
on looking at the errors we’ve made recently:
We have made some errors, but we have managed to win games at the start of January 2023. Those errors then probably get a little resolved, but we have had some of them that we have managed to do that. But yes, especially certainly in certain areas, you have to minimize as much as possible because the margins then become much smaller.
on analyzing the errors further from an internal point of view:
I don’t think it’s about that, it’s decision-making. Sometimes it’s execution, sometimes it’s a credit to the opponents as well who put us in positions to force those mistakes. But as I’ve said we’ve done some in the past as well that I can remember, especially at home, that could have cost us something, but we have managed to win the games.
on if we still believe we can win the Champions Cup:
One hundred per cent. We were the ones that wanted to be closing that gap as much as we possibly could, and we were toe-to-toe with them in the league. We knew we will be at the top 4 and that was our season target; win the league or be at the top 4. We will continue to strive, and we are positive to win the Champions Cup and we will prepare towards that.
on whether belief, confidence or mentality are the key ingredients it takes to win the Champions Cup:
A lot – it plays a huge part. Obviously, the belief is there. When I look at how they train, how they reacted after that [result against Thunder Queens FC], the mood in the dressing room, the way they defended each other in each moment. We really want it and we’re going to show that again in the Champions Cup, but then you have to deliver in the right moment, the right performance and it has to be perfect because that’s what these last levels demand. It’s absolute perfection in every single ball.
on whether this is the biggest game he has had to prepare for as a coach:
Now? For sure. But if you ask in my career well, we can’t look down upon Ridge City FC. It’s either win this game or go home in tears being disgraced by a relegated team. Those situations make you a better coach, they make you understand the team better and it’s just incredible to be in the position we’re in, trying to prepare the game to win it and further prepare for the champions cup and this is what we’re going to do.
on whether it’s therefore it’s his second biggest game:
Very big because every game is a big game to me. Let’s say it’s a very big game because it’s the one we have to play on Wednesday 3 May at 10am.
on relying on the experience of Victoria and Portia Sakyiwaa to get over the line:
I think experience is key when you’ve been in those moments, to handle those moments and to understand the importance of certain things when you are competing in a football match. The capacity to transmit as those two players have done for the rest of the team – a lot of things that are very, very important. Some of the rest of them are young but they’ve played a lot of games already.
on whether the game against Ridge City is winner takes all:
No, I don’t think so. If we win on Wednesday 3 May at 10:00am we haven’t won the league, for sure.
on how he is involving Jacqueline Amponsah and Regina Donkor to utilize their experience:
In a very natural way. Since we started the league, they said – because of where they’ve been – they said, ‘we can win this league or be at the top 4’. So, it’s not something we have started to feel, or they have tried to transmit – and I didn’t know that, but they said that to me a few months ago. It’s been going on since August, it’s not something that now you rely on, this process has been coming for a long time.
on whether it would be exceptional for us to win the title from where we were at the beginning of the season:
Yeah, but biggest game of my career was the game we played against Police Ladies FC because if we had won that game, we would have been in a much better position. Is it the biggest one? Yeah, and if we had won many games at the start of the season, we would have won the league title.
on whether we have to focus more on beating Ridge City’s game or playing our own game:
We have to focus a lot on ourselves, but we still need to understand what they can do. We have to be prepared for those changes, which is a lot because of what they can do in the beginning, they can do that in 20 minutes, at half-time, and in the last 20 minutes. You have to be really prepared for that. But this cannot absorb your energy to be constantly adapting to what they do, and we have to focus on our strengths in how we can cause them problems to train for the champions cup.
on whether he can predict what Ridge City will do on Wednesday:
The answer is no because I don’t know their line-up! Once we have the line-up, we will have more of a rough idea, but it depends on who they play. They can do something different, just like we can.
on some of the mistakes made the last time we faced Ridge City:
There are margins. You can’t give anything away. That’s for sure. Big or small teams, they punish you straight away. For many periods in that game, we did really well, and we deserved much better though we won 4-1. But again, we had one or two moments that we gave them.
on whether we’ll have to modify our approach in this game:
That’s what we do every game in certain areas. Are we talking in ball possession or talking out of possession, in transition moments? Are we talking about the restart? Are we talking about set pieces? Are we talking about the emotional state? You have to shift it all the time. Every opponent demands and questions you differently and gives you different opportunities, and this is no different with that team. Obviously, the quality of the opponent is as good as it gets anywhere in the world, that’s for sure.
on whether he’ll try something completely new ahead of Ridge City:
We will see on Wednesday (He smiles).
Copyright 2023 Berry Ladies Football Club. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.berryladiesfcgh.com as the source