By Fredrick Nadulli,
No team on the continent has won more youth and junior accolades than Ghana.They are the perfect epitome of age-group success in the football world,African and global.
At senior level however,they have failed to wholly live up to their billing,as arguments and personality clashes undermined many a campaign.For a country that has produced top stars;from Tony Yeboah to Abedi Pele to Ibrahim Tanko and Samuel Osei Kuffour,their achievements as a team can be counted on the fingers of one hand,literally.
The Black Stars head to Equatorial Guinea eager to finally stake their claim as one of Africa’s top sides.
YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
The current team comprises a fine blend of experienced war-horses and the spine of the U-20 side that won the World Cup in 2009 in Egypt.Captain Asamoah Gyan may be playing his club football outside the mainstream European orbit,but his general influence and input in the team is still massive.
The man nicknamed ‘Baby Jet’ leads the older brigade that includes Ashgold goalkeeper Fatau Dauda,defender Jonathan Mensah and FK Krasnodar midfielder Rabiu Mohammed.
To spice the mix is the youthful battalion of brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew,Kwesi Appiah,Mubarak Wakaso,Christian Atsu and new kid on the block,20-year old fullback Baba Rahman of Augsburg in Germany.
For a team that carried much of Africa’s hopes at the last world cup,this not-so-new outfit is devoid of previous larger than life figures,who allegedly played a ‘trojan horse’ role in the Brazil fiasco.
Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari are both missing,as well as Michael Essien,as coach Avram Grant seeks to succeed where many before him tried and were found wanting.
This perhaps represents Gyan’s last stab at the Afcon title,the skipper having featured in five previous tournaments.
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda(Ashgold),Razak Braimah(Mirandes),Ernest Sowah(Don Bosco)
Defenders: Mohammed Awal(Maritzburg),Daniel Amartey(Kobenhavn)Harrison Afful(Esperance),John Boye(Erciyesspor),Edwin Gyimah(Black Aces),Jonathan Mensah(Evian),Baba Rahman(Augsburg)
Midfielders: David Accam(Chicago),Frank Achampong(Anderlecht),Acquah Afriyieh(Parma),Agyemang Badu(Udinese),Solomon Asante(TP Mazembe),Christian Atsu(Everton),Andre Ayew(Marseille),Mohamed Rabiu((Krasnodar),Mubarak Wakaso(Celtic)
Forwards: Kwesi Appiah(Cambridge),Jordan Ayew(Lorient),Asamoah Gyan(Al Ain),Mahatma Otto(Sogndal)