Black Satellites arrive in Togo …For 2018 WAFU championship

Jimmy Cobblah - Satellites Coach

Jimmy Cobblah – Satellites Coach

Players and officials of the national U-20 side, the Black Satellites have arrived in the Togolese capital of Lome to take part in the maiden edition of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) U-20 championship scheduled to start from today.

 

It will end on December 17.

 

The team is dominated by locally based players with goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Nurudeen of Belgian side KAS Eupen and midfielder Michael Baidoo of FC Midjtyland in Denmark as the only foreign based players in the squad.

 

Ghana is drawn in Group B alongside Benin, Niger and arch-rivals Nigeria in the preliminary round.

 

The Black Satellites will open their account tomorrow against the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations (AFCON) host Niger at the Stade Municipal Stadium.

 

They will then line up against the Young Stallions of Benin on Sunday before clearing the final group hurdle with the Flying Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday.

 

In a chat with the Times Sports ahead of departure, the Head Coach of the Satellites, Jimmy Cobblah said he would use the tournament to prepare the team for the upcoming Africa Youth Championship (AYC) in 2019.

 

“The World Cup is our target so we need to prepare very well. I am hoping we can emerge victorious from the WAFU competition and go on to conquer all in the Africa championship.”

 

Coach Cobblah described Ghana’s group as a very tough group, saying; “we are facing Niger in our opening game, a side that has been in camp over the last four months preparing for the hosting of the Africa U-20 Cup of nations. We also have Benin and Nigeria to face and this I believe will offer stern test for us ahead of the AYC next year.”

 

On the composition of the team, Coach Cobblah explained that the technical team has decided to rest the foreign based players who helped qualify the team for the AYC.

 

He said most of them are heavily involved with club activities and since the period is not a FIFA sanctioned date, they decided to stick with the locally based players.

 

“We want to use this tournament to test the local boys and see those who can give the foreign based players competition when they assemble for the African tournament in 2019.”

 

The Satellites have played and won all seven friendly matches since they began camping at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence two weeks ago.

 

“I believe we would do very well with the local boys; no one should underrate them. They need the support and prayers of Ghanaians and would come good for us all,” Coach Cobblah said.

BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

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