Algeria set to challenge Egypt and Nigeria for African title
Algeria will face stiff competition from defending champions Egypt and hosts Nigeria, though their north-African rivals Tunisia won’t be competing for the trophy after their last minute withdrawal. Sierra Leone and Madagascar were also forced to pull out.
The Algerian team will be led by head coach Aimad Eddine Saidani and his assistant Abdelhakim Sahli. They are aiming to end their wait for the gold medal that stretches back to 2006 and qualify for the FIVB Women U20 World Championship that will be held in the Czech Republic in June.
"We go to Nigeria with the aim of winning the Championship as we have a highly-experienced team, especially those who played in the younger age-group (U18) two years ago,” Saidani said. “They were runners-up at the competition held in Cairo and represented the continent in the World Championship in Turkey."
Defending champions Egypt will be the biggest challenge for Algeria, as much of the team that won the African crown two years ago are still in the team. Hosts Nigeria meanwhile will use the home crowd to drive their return back to top-level of the sport with a new generation of players.
“Four of the squad played at London 2012 Olympic Games who are Sarra Belhocine, Samia Dallel, Moroua Achour and Celia Bourihane and they will add to our experience,” Saidani said. “The team will also feature three very young players; Yasmine Abderahim, Nawel Hammouche and TItem Hani who are all members in the U18 team."
Algeria squad: Nadira Ait Oumghar , Yasmine Abderahim Sarah Akroun, Louiza Bayou, Sarra Belhocine, Wissem Dali Samia, Dallel Meroua Achour, Ahmel Zaidi, Celia Bourihane, Chanez Nawel Hammouche Ayadi, TItem Hani.