Black Stars open training without Asante Kotoko, Great Olympics players

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Charles Kwablan Akonnor, Black Stars coach
Charles Kwablan Akonnor, Black Stars coach

Black Stars head coach Charles Akonnor and his home-based squad will commence training on Monday evening at the McDan La Town Park as they prepare for two 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Africa, and Sao Tome and Principe.

The team began residential camping on Monday without the Asante Kotoko and Accra Great Olympics contingents who have been excused from duty to enable them take part in club assignments.

However, the national team's technical handlers excused the six invited players of Kotoko -- Razak Abalora, Yussif Mubarik, Ganiyu Ismail, Christopher Nettey, Ibrahim Moro and Kwame Opoku -- from the first week of training to afford them ample time to prepare for their CAF Confederation Cup playoff tie against ES Setif of Algeria.

Kotoko lost the first leg match 1-2 in Accra and will travel to the algerian city of Setif this week for the return encounter on Sunday.

Also, the Olympics quartet of Haruna Jamal Deen, Gladson Awako, Michael Oto and Maxwell Abbey will join the squad after their outstanding league match with Elmina Sharks at the Accra stadium on Tuesday.

According to a Ghana Football Association statement, the players will undergo recovery training on Monday at 5pm and engage in full-scale training on Tuesday at 6pm.

On Wednesday, the team will train in the evening (5pm) and round off the week's training on Thursday morning.

The players will break camp on Friday to rejoin their clubs for the weekend’s Ghana Premier League and Division One League matches.

Below is the local-based players called up into the Black Stars:
Goalkeepers: Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars), Razak Abalora (Asante Kotoko), Bawa Lord Martey (Elmina Sharks), Eric Ofori Antwi (Medeama SC)
Central Defenders: Haruna Jamal Deen (Great Olympics), Yussif Mubarik (Asante Kotoko), Ganiyu Ismail (Asante Kotoko), Konadu Yiadom WAFA), Mohammed Alhassan (Hearts of Oak)
Full Backs: Amoako Kwadwo (AshantiGold SC), Christopher Nettey (Asante Kotoko), Ibrahim Moro (Asante Kotoko), Dennis Korsah Akoumah (Ebusua Dwarfs)
Defensive Midfielders: Justice Blay (Medeama SC), Rashid Nortey (Medeama SC), Salifu Moro (Bechem United), Gladson Awako (Great Olympics), Michael Otou (Great Olympics), George Asamoah (Ebusua Dwarfs), Ben Acquah (Ebusua Dwarfs)
Attacking Midfielders: Yaw Annor (AshantiGold SC), Salifu Ibrahim (Techiman Eleven Wonders), Maxwell Abbey (Great Olympics), Augustine Boakye (WAFA), Michael Agbekornu (Dreams FC)
Strikers: Kwame Pepprah (King Faisal), Diawusie Taylor (Karela United FC), Kwame Opoku (Asante Kotoko), Joseph Esso (Dreams FC), Evans Etti (Accra Lions FC), Andy Kumi Francis (Unistar Academy), Welbeck Takyi (Tano Bofoakwa)

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