EXCLUSIVE: Doris Boaduwaa on WAFCON qualification, Olympics and Champions League dreams


EXCLUSIVE: Doris Boaduwaa on WAFCON qualification, Olympics and Champions League dreams

Boaduwaa has big goals
Boaduwaa has big goalsTwitter @BoaduwaaDoris
After helping Ghana return to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), Black Queens forward Doris Boaduwaa (20) sat down with Flashscore to talk about the impact of coach Nora Hauptle and her ambitions for club and country.

Brazil’s Marta didn’t have her fairytale end as Brazil crashed out of the 2023 Women’s World Cup at the group stages. Individually, she holds the record for the most World Cup goals with a tally of 17. She also became the first footballer to score at five different World Cups.

However, the trophy eluded the 37-year-old who has now retired from international football.

In her final post-match interview, through tears after Brazil’s elimination, she was proud of how far women’s football has come and acknowledged the role she played in the development of the sport. There was a time when you mentioned women’s football and the first name to pop out of anyone’s mouth was Marta. 

On a smaller scale, Adjoa Bayor at a point was synonymous with women’s football in Ghana. And why not? She was part of the Black Queens squad that qualified for the World Cup for the first time and in 2007 scored one of the best goals in women’s football. Against Norway in a World Cup group game, the then-captain stands behind a free-kick in a rather unorthodox way. She turns her back to the goal and then turns on the referee's whistle to slot the ball into the net.

For Doris Boaduwaa, who was being compared to the legend at a young age by bypassers, the expectation was that she too would get to the top level.

She was part of the Hasaacas Ladies team that made history in the 2020/21 season winning the Ghanaian league, FA Cup, and WAFU Zone B tournament, and finished runners-up in the CAF Women’s Champions League on their first attempt.

Ghana celebrating their qualification
Ghana celebrating their qualificationTwitter @BoaduwaaDoris

At just 20 years old, Boaduwaa is already a key component of the senior team and her two goals in the first leg against Namibia helped Ghana book a ticket for the WAFCON next year.

“As a player, I feel very happy to have achieved this feat after five years. I feel excellent and the expectation is to go and make history. Coming into the team from the junior team has also boosted my confidence,” Boaduwaa tells Flashscore in an exclusive interview.

Just over a year ago, the forward was representing Ghana’s U-20 women’s team, Black Princesses, at the World Cup. Although Ghana’s campaign was rather underwhelming, Boaduwaa scored the country’s only goal at the tournament.

Before the tournament, she had already made her debut for the senior side and played under coach Mercy Tagoe. Tagoe was later replaced by Swiss coach Nora Hauptle who Boaduwaa admits has revolutionised how the team plays.

“When she came, she brought this ‘Mission Volta’ agenda," she said.

"This agenda meant we were starting all over again because things had been bad for the past five years. 

"What she brought was combining determination, passion, teamwork, and hard work, to help achieve the Mission Volta because it was a fresh start.

“She also wanted us to progress in whatever competition we found ourselves in. What she normally tells us is to work harder but what’s always on her lips is that determination will always prevail and when we’re on the pitch we should play for ourselves and support each other."

Hauptle has made a huge impact
Hauptle has made a huge impactTwitter @CAFwomen

There has been a complete transformation after the appointment of Hauptle. All of a sudden, the interest in women’s football has spiked with the team winning 10 out of 11 games so far. During that spell, the team has scored 34 goals, only conceding two - one an own goal. Hauptle’s first defeat came in the last qualifier against Namibia, a result which ended up not being consequential.

“The game against Namibia wasn’t easy because we wanted to maintain the unbeaten run. But in this game, it’s either you win, draw, or lose so we took it on the good side.

"Losing didn’t bring sadness because we had secured qualification and there was enough praise from the coaches and technical team because this had been our only loss since the ‘Mission Volta’ agenda started. 

"This was also important because it got us into the WAFCON. We took the loss like professionals so we accepted the loss because it brought happiness in the end.”

‘Mission Volta’ doesn’t just end with qualification to the continental showpiece in Morocco next year. 

Since 2007, the Black Queens have only progressed from the group stage of an AFCON once and haven’t qualified for a World Cup. The mission aims to ensure that Ghana get back to the level between 1995 and 2006, where the Black Queens reached the semi-final stage of every women’s AFCON and even advanced to the final thrice.

On the three occasions that the Black Queens were within touching distance of the trophy, Nigeria pipped them to it. The team also qualified for each World Cup between 1999 and 2007.

“It’s been five years since we last qualified to the WAFCON so securing qualification is a good thing for us. We want to win the trophy for the nation and ourselves. The least we’re targeting is to win a medal but the ultimate target is the trophy.”

Since the inception of women’s football in Ghana, the country has never played in the Olympic Games and that’s one thing Boaduwaa is also looking to change.

“We’ve never played at the Olympic Games so it’s part of my plans. It’s part of our plans to help each other in order to achieve this feat and write history.

"Doing things like this keeps your name in national folklore and also you feel proud when you reminisce about what you achieved.

“So it’s really important for us, the WAFCON qualification has already been secured so our main focus now is the qualification to the Olympics which is against Zambia. Securing qualification would be historical for us so we will do whatever it takes to write down that history,” she added.

Boaduwaa celebrating
Boaduwaa celebratingTwitter @BoaduwaaDoris

Beyond the national team, the former Hasaacas Ladies player dreams of playing in the UEFA Champions League. In this season’s qualification play-offs, her team Subotica went close and only lost the final qualifier to Rosengard.

“I wanted to ply my trade in Europe so I could play in the Champions League and I am glad to have scored in my first game in the qualifiers. 

"It’s one of the best tournaments, every club dreams of playing in the Champions League. I get to compete against the biggest clubs and also it’s a good experience for me.

"Unfortunately, we fell short after losing the last game and couldn’t progress to the group stages.”

Boaduwaa scored three goals in the Champions League qualifiers and already has three goals in the league. She dreams of becoming the best on the continent and eventually winning the Ballon d’Or.

“I want to become one of the biggest players in Africa and the world at large and then get recognised whenever my name is mentioned.

"My dream is to get the chance to play in one of the biggest teams in Europe and then go on to win the Ballon d’Or.”


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