Cameroon coach Joseph Ndoko is relishing the chance to take part in the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championships that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay in South African from September 12-22.
The Central African side have been invited as guests and will add huge quality to the field as they prepare for the African Women’s Championship in Ghana later in the year.
Cameroon appeared the previous FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and have set their sights on booking a place at the event in France next year too, with their preparation to start to in this COSAFA competition.
“These will be our first matches in the build-up to the African Women’s Championship and therefore the World Cup,” Ndoko says, with the continental finals to act as a qualifier for the global showpiece.
“The COSAFA competition is an important challenge for us and we will learn a great deal from taking part.”
Cameroon have been drawn in Group B along with Zambia, who will also be heading to the African Women’s Championship in November, Lesotho and Mozambique.
With only the top team in each pool and the best placed runner-up to advance to the semifinals, it is a tough challenge for Ndoko.
“I don’t know too much about the teams that we will have to face so we will have to learn quickly, but this is a good challenge for us.
“Certainly, meeting Zambia in the pool stages and perhaps South Africa in the knockout rounds will be a big test for us to see how ready we are for the African Women’s Championship.
“This is exactly what we want at this stage of our preparation, to be exposed to different styles and see how we can manage against them. We can learn a lot from playing teams in Southern Africa, and maybe East Africa too if we face [fellow guest nation] Uganda.
“I would like to thank COSAFA for giving us the opportunity to compete in their tournament, we promise to bring an attacking style to the pitch.”
Cameroon are rated third on the African continent according to the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings, with only Nigeria and Ghana ahead of them.
They will open their campaign COSAFA Women’s Championships campaign against Mozambique on September 13, before a crucial clash with Zambia two days later. They will end their pool play against Lesotho on September 18.