Skipper of the national U-20 side, the Black Satellites, Daniel Bannieh Afriyie says the team is ready to defend the flag of Ghana at the WAFU B U-20 tournament and return with the trophy.
Ghana is making a second appearance at the tournament after a poor showing at the last edition.
The Black Satellites failed to qualify for the African competition that also serves as qualifier for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Afriyie, who spoke to the media on arrival in the Benin capital of Porto-Novo, said the morale in camp was high, reminding his colleagues of their target for coming to the tournament which is to win the trophy.
“We want to re-write the wrongs of our predecessors and return our country to the glory days of 2009 when we won every trophy en-route to lifting the World Cup in Egypt.”
According to him, the Satellites have one of the best camps ahead of the championships, adding that, “it’s time for the team to give back what the country has given them in terms of preparations.”
The 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup winners are looking at staging a return to the world stage after last appearing at the New Zealand edition in 2015.
Afriyie believes that is a possibility with hard work on the part of members.
“We are here in Benin to do one thing; that is, qualify for next year’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania and then to the World Cup in Indonesia.”
“I want to urge Ghanaians back home to keep supporting us and remember us in their prayers as we battle here.”
Ghana has been paired in Group B alongside the Flying Eagles of Nigeria and the Junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire for the three weeks tournament.
The Black Satellites will open their account tomorrow, against seven-time African champions Nigeria at the Stade de Gaulle in Porto-Novo before taking on Cote d’Ivoire three days later in the final group game at the same venue.
The two finalists will eventually qualify for the CAF U-20 Championship which serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY