Ghana U-17 players will have successful progression despite Afcon miss, says Zito

The Black Starlets coach believes the team has a bright future despite their failure to qualify for the continental competition

Ghana U-17 coach Abdul Karim Zito believes his players will progress in their careers despite failing to qualify to the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.

The Black Starlets were defeated on penalties by Nigeria in the final of the qualifiers in Niger on Saturday. The Golden Eaglets will now represent Wafu Zone B at the finals.

“Ghana weren't lucky against Nigeria in the final that's why we couldn't qualify. However, it is not the end of the road for the players. These boys will be groomed and then have a successful progression to the U-20 level,” Zito said upon arrival on Sunday.

"They will be promoted to the Black Satellites level to continue their development and I'm very hopeful that they will be the future stars for the country. It is sad we couldn't qualify to the Afcon so what they need now is encouragement since they have the qualities to make it soon.

Zito also denied reports that the players were tactically undisciplined in the final which led to their defeat.

"My boys weren’t tactically undisciplined so that assertion is wrong,” he said.

“They played according to what they were taught just like our opponents, we played. We took the lead but made one mistake which they capitalised on and equalised. At their stage, such mistakes are pardonable so I think they conducted themselves very well.”