Ghana African Youth Champions – Again

andre-dede-ayewAT one point, they nearly failed to qualify for the CAF African Youth Championship (AYC) – Rwanda 09. It took a wonder goal away from home in far away Senegal by captain Dede Ayew to qualify Ghana for Rwanda 09. Sellas ‘Borborvic’ Tetteh’s Black Satellites 09 was then playing some of the worse football one can imagine. He had to do something about the team and he did. With deep introspection, Borborvic found the key to building a successful team.

Apparently, the technical team had promoted wholesale, Starlets of year 2007 without critically considering whether or not the players were match-fit. They had selected some local-based players who were technically bankrupt. The solution? Simple… Pick only players who have been playing well week-in-week-out. If they are based abroad and you are not sure of them, let them come home and justify their inclusion.

This shake-up affected star players like Sadick Adam, Ishmael Antwi, Ishmael Yartey, Wakasso Mubarack and a host of may others. Fans and pundits alike vehemently criticized Selllas Tetteh for dropping some of these players. But Borborvic had more tricks up his sleeves. He sat lateral defender Daniel Opare for Samuel Inkoom; goal keeper Joseph Addo for James Adjei ; midfielder Enoch Adu Kofi for Gladson Awako and winger Abeiku Quansah for Isaac Donkor . As if that was not enough, Dominioc Adiyiah was brought on board and Ransford Osei was given one more chance to prove his worth or he was out.

These reforms worked like magic, and just as the birth of a baby is preceded by birth pangs , Ghana participated in the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup, signalling their potential. So it was, that Ghana went to Rwanda, led by captain Andre Dede Ayew with a mixture of hope (arising from the WAFU win) and skeptism from fans who were unsure of the team sheet. Obviously the midfield was narrow and the defence was missing Jonathan Mensah. The defensive midfielder, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu is naturally a forward.

Doubters were on the a roller coaster to the famous ‘I told you so’ when Ghana played what Borborvic calls Champaign football with no result. Ghana were held by Cameroon to a one-all draw. Then, Ransford Osei did not show up. Other players did not show up too, only captain Dede did.

Sellas promised a better game next time and he was not kidding. Ghana picked up from there. Champaigne football was over. Ghana turned on its rugged and efficient side. Then the true Satellites popped out. Ransford Osei hit three sets of braces against Rwanda, South Africa and Cameroun showing to the rest of the world why he is one of the top 50 wonder kids of the world. Samuel Inkoom worked the right wing like a worker bee.

Ghana has won the African Youth Championship for the third time, placing third behind Nigeria (5 times) and coming apar with Egypt (3 times). I congratulate the management, technical team and the playing body of the team. You deserve your glory.

The world stage awaits in in Egypt in September, recuperate, prepare and show them what stuff you are made of.The team has greater potential than it is showing and we all hope that Sellas Tetteh will build on the strengths and pluck the holes in the team.


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