Ghana coach Akonnor shares camp reaction after four days of training for Afcon qualifiers
Ghana coach CK Akonnor reveals he is open to making changes to his squad as preparations continue for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.
The Black Stars coach called up a home-based contingent of 32 players for the upcoming games but six players - on the books of Caf Confederation Cup campaigners Asante Kotoko - were later excused.
The training squad of 26 players broke camp on Thursday ahead of their Ghana Premier League and Division One League fixtures on the coming weekend.
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“I am happy with what I have seen so far, and I am looking forward to welcoming them back on Thursday after their club football matches," Akonnor told Daily Graphic.
“We will have to see if there is a need to make additions and omissions before the matches and when there is a need to do that, I will definitely affect it."
For the first time in a long while, three players in the Ghana squad ply their trade in the national second-tier league.
“I think we have to be fair in giving opportunities to deserving players. I don’t think concentrating on only Premier League players would be enough and I must admit that I have been impressed with them," Akonnor explained.
The Black Stars set-up is expected to be boosted by some foreign-based players ahead of the March 28 games in Group C but there are currently concerns about their release by clubs owing to the coronavirus pandemic and associated travel restrictions.
"This is not the first time a national team coach is inviting home-based players. For us, it has become necessary to do this because of the challenges we faced before the Ghana versus Sudan match [last November] when players were not able to come because of Covid-19 issues," Akonnor explained after naming his squad.
"We made some late call-ups but travelling restrictions and quarantine issues made things difficult for us. So, management and the technical team thought it wise to do this by inviting a chunk of home players to move to camp to prepare for the games.”
Ghana currently sit top of Group C ahead of the last two games of the qualifiers.