“I don’t want my daughter to look like a man, muscular”
“Who told you women are successful when they play football?”
“These men will only deceive and lure my daughter stop her education all in the name of football”.
These are discouraging comments women’s football administrators, managers and officials encounter during scouting to get a running women’s football team in the Volta region.
In the midst of these disparaging statements, there is a silver lining streaking under the clouds.
Women’s football in the region is ticking progressively as many teams spring up.
There is the newly formed Anlo Ladies, on three occasions represented the region at an official National competition, the Women FA Cup, twice, and the Zonal Championship for a possible promotion to the National Women’s League (NWL).
These impressive performances from the Ewe based team has propelled the formation of other women’s teams in the region such as Ave Shining Ladies, of Ave-Have, Biakoye Ladies from Kwamekrom in the Biakoye District, Glad Ladies of Dalaba among others to be compelled and redirect their focus on Women’s Football.
Indeed suddenly there appears to be some redirection and focus of women football in the region.
Prosper Ocloo of Dabala Glad Ladies said he has great potentials in his women’s team, hence his passion to help them develop.
He was sure this passion would help them develop players to become rising stars.
“My girls are good, they can play very well. Sometimes we train with boys to get fit to withstand any type of competition”.
“And I know one day my team will make Volta region proud”
“For now am sick but I’m able to fix this team together”.
“The only problem I face now is finance”.
Feeding these girls is not easy, and their parents too, releasing and allowing them to come to play football is another thing”
‘We need help from companies to sponsor these girls because they are talented” Prosper stated.
Bruno Gadzedzo a Women’s Football Administrator is sure that there are a lot of talents in the region.
“I can assure you that one day a women’s football team in the Volta region would beef up the Black Queens squad”. He said.
That is really some great projection which possible.
Fafali Dumehashi of Police Ladies formerly of Volta Amalgamated Ladies has a commanding place in the goalkeeping department of Ghana senior women’s national football team, the Black Queens
Volta Amalgamated which was formed by Foster Kudiabor, were relegated in their debut in the National Women’s League (NWL)
Fafali who started her football career in Ho, before joining the Police service and the Police Ladies team spoke to me on the future of Women Football in the Volta region.
“These girls are good, very talented, but my fear is how many would get the opportunity I had when I was playing in the region”. Fafali said.
“They can die out when help is not forthcoming, but my hope is that something would be done to these beautiful talents in the region”.
“One day I know a door would open just like I had it”. She added
Bebe Kpozo a striker with Anlo Ladies shared with me her experience as a footballer in the region and how she combines school with playing football.
“I love to play football, I have been playing since primary 5, and I know one day I will play for the Black Queens and even go professional”
“After school, I go out with my team mates to the Anlo Secondary School (Anseco) Park for training because we love what we do”.
The story of Abla Gbadegbe of Juapong Dream Big Academy is not different from that of Bebe
“I love to play football, football is my passion and I want to be a coach one day, so I can train young girls who want to play football”.
The Regional Football Association as part of its mandate to develop grassroots football in the region has over the years not put much into women’s football development, hence the low performance of the sport in the region.
Innocentia Abgavitor, a retired FIFA Referee and chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee has been in charge of Women’s Football for close to 8 years. She shared with me challenges involved with the feminine side of the sport.
“I have being in charge of women football for 8 years, women football is not growing in the region because parents won’t allow their wards to play football for long”
“Getting sponsors is another huge challenges we face, myself I own a team, (Ho, Dynamo Ladies).
“All expenses are on me because we have no sponsor, many people don’t like to invest in women football because they believe they (women) can’t travel far with their careers compared to men, who play football”. The female football gaffer lamented.
“Other women’s team administrators face similar challenge”. She added
It is often rare to see women’s football teams in the NWL, but Madam Innocentia Agabvitor is hopeful a team from the Volta region would join soon, stay and possibly lift the name of the region high.
“Soon, we would also be in the Women’s League, since teams are reviving again in the region”. She surmised.
It is a great wish and desire for women’s football lovers in the region to see the domestic women sports revive and stay afloat since its long absence when Ghatel Ladies, Ketu Ladies and Peki Ladies all made Volta proud in the late 90’s pushing into the 2000’s.
The chairman of the Regional Football Association (RFA), Francis Dogbatse, in his third term in office has made a promise of reviving the dwindling women’s football in the region.
Presently six clubs are playing in the Regional Women’s League.
This situation could be the start of a revival in Women’s Football in the Volta region.
The committee in charge says plans are far advanced to raise the interest of people in women’s football.
These six teams have been divided into two zones (Southern and Northern) which comprises three teams in each zone.
Southern Zone – Anlo Ladies, Glad Ladies and Ave Shining Ladies.
Northern Zone – Dynamo Ladies, Biakoye Ladies and Dream Big Academy.
Anlo Ladies and Dynamo Ladies are leading their respective zones with Six (6) points each as the teams await a Middle League to determine who represent the region in the Women Zonal Championship slated for this year.