Satellites coach targets medal in Niger, World Cup spot
The head coach of Ghana’s Under-20 side has pledged to lead the Black Satellites to book a place at this year’s FIFA World Youth Championship in Poland when the team competes at the African Under-20 Championship in Niger next month.
Coach Jimmy Cobblah said his target was to play at the world stage and also win a medal at the African Championship, which will serve as a qualifying competition for the World Cup in Poland where he intends to unleash the Satellites on the global stage.
The Satellites have been paired against Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso in Group B at the continental competition which comes off from February 2 to 17.
Despite the stiff opposition they face in Niger, Cobblah believes that his team have the nerve to overpower all their opponents to book a place at the World Cup.
“We are on course because we have had enough preparation. We will surely qualify for the World Cup. I am very confident because every member of the team can play in more than two positions.
“So far, the team is taking shape and we believe it will be stronger with the inclusion of some foreign based players such as goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Nuredeen, Issahaku Konda and Kudos Mohammed who are excelling in their respective clubs abroad,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview ahead of the team’s expected departure yesterday for Niger to acclimatise ahead of the competition.
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Coach Cobblah has named a 24-man squad which will be pruned to 21 for the continental competition.
“I have always had the 2009 U-20 World Cup victory by Ghana as my goal, and I hope we can emulate that feat.
“We are ever ready for the Africa Youth Championship; this is a stage that will ensure our qualification to the World Cup so we are not taking it for granted,” assured the Ghana coach.
In their build-up to the continental tournament, the Satellites engaged in friendly some matches, including 0-3 loss to Dreams FC and a 1-2 loss to Accra Hearts of Oak last Saturday.