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Nora Hauptle: Black Queens coach reflects on journey, eyes 2024 Women’s Afcon

In a candid interview with the BBC, Nora Hauptle, the coach of Ghana’s senior national women’s football team, the Black Queens, has shared insights into her coaching experience.

Hauptle, a Swiss trainer, guided Ghana through a remarkable run in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with the team suffering only one defeat.

Despite their impressive performance, the Black Queens faced a setback in the final round of Olympic Games qualifiers when a late goal by Babara Banda dashed their hopes of advancement. However, Hauptle remains proud of her tenure with the team and is focused on their upcoming campaign in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled to take place in Morocco later this year.

Reflecting on her journey, she emphasized the profound lessons learned about herself during this time, acknowledging that while others may not fully grasp her passion, she finds immense value in the journey.

“I knew when I jumped in there that I would have the resilience to survive [and] I would learn a lot about myself,” she said.

“For me, the interest behind it may sound ridiculous for others but I learned the most in this whole journey about myself.”

The Black Queens’ previous outings in major tournaments have been mixed, with a disappointing exit in the group stage of the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and a failure to qualify for the 2022 edition. However, Hauptle and the team are determined to make a significant impact on the continental stage, with aspirations of securing Ghana’s first-ever women’s title.

“We want to come back to the top four of Africa, maybe even win a trophy,” Hauptle declared, highlighting the team’s ambitious goals.

Looking ahead, Ghana anticipates another opportunity to assert its dominance in African women’s football. However, the scheduling of the Women’s Nations Cup remains uncertain, with negotiations ongoing between the Confederation of African Football and FIFA, particularly amidst the crowded calendar due to the upcoming Olympics in July and August. Despite the uncertainties, Ghana remains steadfast in their pursuit of success under the guidance of Coach Hauptle.

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