The Jack Allen Recreation Complex (JARC) will once again become training grounds for the Black Maidens, a U17 soccer team from the West African country of Ghana. The West African national team will travel over 6,500 miles to practice at the JARC in preparation for the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup.
The team is scheduled to arrive on February 27 and in addition to practice times, there will be exhibition matches against collegiate teams. Practices and exhibition games are open to the public but no cheering is allowed during practice times while athletes meet stringent guidelines in preparation for the World Cup. A tentative schedule of events include training on February 28, March 3, 4, 6, 8. The team will play an exhibition match against UAH in Huntville on March 2, travel to the University of Alabama on March 4, visit the squad at the University of Memphis on March 6, and close out their training with a match against the U17 Woodbridge Soccer Club from Canada on Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m. at Jack Allen Recreation Complex.
The Black Maidens made their first appearance in 2010 for a 19-day visit that included training, exhibition matches, and visits to local attractions and eateries. The visit produced an economic impact of nearly $168K for the city of Decatur and Morgan County.