Even before the 2018 Sapholda Hockey League comes to an end in September, defending ladies champions, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Ladies, are looking beyond dominating the domestic competition and are dreaming of another continental venture next year.
Having won the 2018 Africa Hockey for Club Champions Cup in January at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, GRA Ladies have a mission to extend their dominance into Africa, and in particular, to do everything possible to defend the continental trophy successfully to prove that they are not only local champions but also continental club mistresses.
In January this year, GRA Ladies snatched the African title trophy from holders, Telkom Hockey Club of Kenya in the final of the ACCC tournament involving Telkom Hockey Club and Strathmore (Kenya), Desert Warriors and KADA Queens (Nigeria) and Police Ladies and GRA Ladies (Ghana).
Currently leading the pack and with an unbeaten record in the ongoing Sapholda Hockey League, GRA Ladies are already dreaming big and with an eye to conquer Africa once more. With four games to end the competition, they sit top of the league log with 18 points while their closest challenger, Police Ladies trail by six points
Such is their confidence that their Technical Advisor,Ebenezer Fimpong, confirmed to the Graphic Sports Online that their goal was to extend their dominance to the continent.
“We have four more matches to play, but as defending Africa champions, our focus is not on the Sapholda Hockey League, but in Africa, where we are making feverish preparations to defend the ACCC trophy we won in Accra.
“As defending champions, we are leaving no stone unturned to make a mark in Africa. That explains why we have been outstanding in the Sapholda Hockey League. With four matches to go, GRA are mathematically champions. We also won the T-Tommy tournament played in Kumasi early in July, and added the annual Professor Atta Mills tournament trophy in July, and in all the competitions we defeated our arch rivals, Police Ladies,” said Frimpong.
On how they were preparing for Africa, Mr Frimpong said the team would soon leave for South Africa for a training tour to fine-tune their preparations .
He said South Africa was their destination of choice because the country had quality sports facilities and good teams to test the combat-readiness of the Ghanaian champions.
“Our target for the year was to win all local competitions and also defend the ACCC trophy successfully. So far, we are on course at the local side,that is why our focus has been shifted to Africa, “ he explained
“Mathematically, we have won the league, but we will strive to win the remaining four matches against Ark Ladies, Extinguishes, Real Ambassadors and Reformers Ladies before we emplane for South Africa for the training tour to help us successfully defend the African title.”
The management of GRA, he said, was committed to supporting the team to become a continental giant by using hockey as a tool to market Ghana.
“We believe in the able management of GRA, led by the Commissioner General, Mr Kofi Nti. It is their tremendous support that had made the team growing from strength to strength for us to compete favourably at both the local and international levels.,” He noted.