Black Stars begin camp Saturday :Locals Okrah, Barnieh earn call-up

BY: Peter Sarbah
Antoine Semenyo - Makes his debut for the Black Stars
Antoine Semenyo - Makes his debut for the Black Stars

Black Stars coach Otto Addo and his players will open camping tomorrow in Cape Coast to begin preparation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group qualifiers against Madagascar and the Central Africa Republic.

The team begin training tomorrow afternoon at the Cape Coast Stadium and continue their regimen ahead of the Group E encounter against the Barea of Madagascar on Wednesday before playing the Central African Republic four days later (June 5).

Yesterday the Ghana coach named his squad for the double-header qualifiers with Bechem United midfielder, Augustine Okrah, and young Hearts of Oak forward, Daniel

Afriyie Barnieh, are the only home-based players in the 33-man squad which include four debutants.
Djiku, Partey missing

Conspicuously missing are centre-back, Alexander Djiku, and deputy skipper Thomas Partey who is recovering from a thigh injury while playing for Arsenal in a recent English Premier League game against Crystal Palace.

In the absence of Strasbourg defender Djiku, Coach Addo has invited Columbus Crew centre-back, Jonathan Mensah, with Shenzhen FC star, Mubarak Wakaso also replacing Partey in midfield. Abdul Baba Rahman of English Championship side FC Reading, and Kamaldeen Sulemana of French club Stade Rennes, are also making a return into the team after missing Ghana's FIFA World Cup playoffs against Nigeria in March.

Other returnees are skipper Andre Ayew and Benjamin Tetteh who missed the World Cup playoffs against Nigeria due to the red cards they received at the 2021 AFCON against Comoros and Gabon, respectively.

Four Debutants

Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo, Braydon Manu of SV Darmstadt and Alidu Seidu of French Ligue 1 side, Clermont Foot were handed their debut call-ups, as most of the players who featured in the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff against Nigeria maintained their places.

After the two AFCON qualifiers against Madagascar and the Central Africa Republic, the Black Stars will travel to Japan to participate in a four-nation tournament involving Tunisia, Chile and Japan.
Full squad

Goalkeepers: Joseph Wollacott, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen and Lawrence Ati Zigi.

Defenders: Denis Odoi, Alidu Seidu, Abdul Rahman Baba, Gideon Mensah, Abdul Mumin, Daniel Amartey, Joseph Aidoo, Jonathan Mensah and Andy Yiadom.

Midfielders: Iddrisu Baba, Edmund Addo, Elisha Owusu, Mohammed Kudus and Daniel Kofi Kyereh.

Wingers: Joseph Paintsil, Andre Ayew, Augustine Okrah, Osman Bukari, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Yaw Yeboah and Christopher Antwi Agyei.

Strikers: Jordan Ayew, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Felix Afena-Gyan, Kwesi Okyere Wriedt, Antoine Semenyo, Benjamin Tetteh and Braydon Manu.