By Dennis Mirpuri
Over the years, coaches have trumpeted the popular saying that "a good defence wins you tournaments," yet it would seem that Ghana's current Under-20 side has been blessed with more than just a good defence.
Coach Sellas Tetteh has picked a select band of 21 young effective players, with undeniable quality from the defensive to attacking departments, ready to replicate the feat he chalked at the Rwanda 2009 Africa Youth Championship.
CHARISMATIC | Andre Ayew led the Under-20 winning team in Egypt 2009
Though coach Tetteh’s Algeria 2013 squad may not boast of seven foreign-based players compared to the Rwanda 2009 side, which paraded the likes of Andre Ayew, Dominic Adiyiah, Ransford Osei, Abeiku Quansah, Enoch Kofi Adu, Jonathan Mensah and David Addy, there are high hopes that Ghana would surely be represented by an efficient set of players including Felix Annan, Jeremiah Akorful, Lawrence Lartey, Ahmed Adams, Michael Anaba, Moses Odjer, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, Kennedy Ashia and Francis Narh, to name a few.
The highly competitive nature of the Ghana Premier League seems to have helped Tetteh in picking as many as 18 quality home-based players for the competition, with a foreign-based trio. Despite the bright signals the former Black Stars assistant coach has sent in with the inclusion of these quality locally-based youngsters dominating the squad, the argument of adequate exposure of the home-based component to international tournaments and its possible effects on Ghana’s performance at the continental showpiece then pops up, considering the fact that these youngsters are alien to highly competitive continental events like the Africa Youth Championship.
Perhaps sports enthusiasts, who hold the opinion that lack of exposure would hamper this team’s progress at the Algeria 2013 event, would want to cast their minds back to how the home-based component of the Rwanda 2009 squad which featured the likes of Daniel Agyei, Khassinu Ghandi, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Gladson Awako and Latifu Salifu shot to fame after distinguishing themselves at the continental tourney.
|It is therefore imperative for the current crop of players to realise they have been presented with a golden opportunity of a life-time not only to make Ghana proud at the U20 level, but carve their names into the history of Ghana football.
- Dennis Mirpuri
Interestingly, the selection of players from mainly Liberty Professionals, Tema Youth, Medeama SC, Berekum Chelsea and Wa All Stars into the Black Satellites’ Algeria 2013 has raised eyebrows with countless sports aficionados claiming the Ghana FA’s executive committee members, who have affiliations with these listed clubs influenced the selection of these players so they can market and sell them after the continental tournament.
Though these claims cannot be substantiated, the fact remains that the players could draw intrinsic motivation from the possibility of landing foreign contracts if they play above themselves and heed experienced coach Tetteh’s tactical guidance.
It is therefore imperative for the current crop of players to realise they have been presented with a golden opportunity of a life-time not only to make Ghana proud at the U20 level, but carve their names into the history of Ghana football.
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