17
Oct
09

Ghana – World Youth Champions!


I wish I knew where to start from or where to take this article. But I will discipline myself. Black Satellites 2009, wow, what a team, what a spirit! And my word, can victory be sweeter? How do I choose the words to extol this history-making Black Satellites team? If there is anyone who doubts that dreams come true, that resilience is the fuel of success, that a successful person’s true strength is the person next to him, that prayers get answered, I hope the Black Satellites 2009 have given you the answers you are looking for. 

FBL-WORLD-U20-BRA-GHA

The last time Ghana won anything at FIFA level was 14 years ago at Ecuador 95 FIFA Under 17 Championship. Now that is long ago. Little wonder the streets of Ghana were filled with chants, horn-tooting and instant parties on Friday night when the hero Daniel Adjei made that historic save against Brazil’s Maicon to make Ghana World Youth Champions. What other excuse can Ghanaians have to drink the Friday away? The Brazil of Africa has defeated the Brazil of the world! Holala!

I never for once doubted the ability of this team. From the foundations built by Bashir Hayford in 2005/2006 through the additional assistance of Osam Duodu to the capable hands of Sellas Tetteh, I have always had confidence in this  generation of Ghanaian footballers. Big congratulations to these boys and especially their management team led by Mr. Jordan Anagbla. They are heroes and ought to return home to a rousing welcome.

Coach Sellas Tetteh must be a relieved man. The man has been flogged for every possible wrong a coach can do. Accused of being ‘technically bankrupt and one-dimensional’; ‘insulted for putting together the worst youth team Ghana ever had’; chided for every bad game the team has had and put under bribery investigations from allegations from his own players. Some even went as far as scolding and insulting him when he made Andre Ayew team captain (claiming football legend Abedi Ayew had bribed him). They told him there will be no glory in his sacrifice. His response; ‘I refuse to be a loser!’  This victory must be sweet!

Against all the odds, Sellas Tetteh has written his name in the hearts of Ghanaians as the best youth coach to have come out of Africa. Refusing to make silly excuses like Nigeria’s Samson Siasia, he took on the world. He and his charges never retreated, they never to surrender. They responded to history’s beckon and stepped into glory as the first African team to lift the World Youth Championship Cup.

Flying on the wings of Samuel Inkoom and David Nii Addy, Ghana’s conquering midfielders captain Andre Ayew, Rabiu Mohammed, Abeiku Quansah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu, Awako Gladson, John Benson and Opoku Ayeman took over the middle grounds. They combated every opposition with verve and gusto, for Ghana, for victory! They gave Dominc Adiyiah and Ransford Osei the room to tear down every defensive wall, while allowing Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Addo and Bright Addae to guard the post with their lives.

When the history is written, special mention will be made of how a certain goalkeeper Daniel Adjei, gathered his composure  and when the incessant attacks of the opponents obliterate the ray of hope for Ghana, he stood as a man and fought in the shade. What a battle, what sweet victory?!

And then comes Andre Ayew. I have never seen a Ghanaian captain show so much leadership of the pitch in a long time. I have seen some of the most inspirational national team leaders like Stephen Appiah, Charles Akunor and Abedi Pele, but on the pitch, I dare say that Andre Ayew’s leadership in the African and World youth championship has been legendary.

Congratulations to Ghana. Some people say we should jump into planning for London 2012 Olympic games. I say we should party for a few more days, rest our limps and savour our glory!

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