Head Coach of the national under-20 side the Black Satellites, Yaw Preko, has promised a good showing by Ghana at the 12th edition of the African Games soccer tournament in Morocco from August 16-30.
Preko will lead his locally dominated side to the tournament and believe they are ready to take on the rest of Africa and make Ghana proud at the Games.
He has named two foreign based players in his squad – skipper Emmanuel Toku of Portuguese side Boavista and defender Najeeb Yakubu of Ukrainian side FC Vorskla Poltava.
The squad has Danlad Ibrahim, Frederick Asare and Appiah Kubi as goalkeepers.
defenders are Daniel Adrian Adjetey, Haruna Abubakar, Mohammed Adams, Kobina
Amoah and Philip Osei. The midfielders are Sulley Ibrahim, Isaac Gyamfi, Mathew
Anim, Ibrahim Issah and Kwadwo Opoku.
Elvis kyei Baffour, Awudu Tahiru and Abdul Basit Umar are the attackers.
Preko told the Times Sports in an interview that his side was ready for the tournament reserved for U-23 players until this year’s games.
“I have seen massive improvement from a month ago and I can say we are in good shape for the tournament. There are still a few rough edges to sharpen especially in the final third of the field. They must learn to finish games off as quickly as possible when the opportunities come.”
“In the game of football, goals matter the most and we need to be more accurate in that aspect.”
The good news, however, he said was the fact that they are able to create a lot of scoring chances but the conversion rate is a bit of a problem.
The former Ghana international indicated that the current squad represents the best at that level, adding that, each and every one of them are hungry for honours and they will go all out for it.
lot of the problems identified with the team have been addressed and I am
hopeful they will perform at their very best.”
Preko expressed confidence in the team’s ability to go as far as to the finals but stopped short of predicting a gold medal win for the Satellites though he felt it was not a goal far from their reach.
Black Stars Coach, Kwesi Appiah led Ghana to win the nation’s only gold medal at the 2011 Games held in Maputo, Mozambique but has since not make any impact again at the level and Preko believes the current crop of players can equal that feat.
Ghana is drawn in Group B together with current African U-20 Champions Senegal, Mali and Burundi.
The Black Satellites will play Burundi on Saturday 17 at the Stade Municipal in Kenitra before facing Senegal and Mali on August 21 and 24.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY