• Paa Kwesi Fabin – Starlets coach
The national Under-17 side, the Black Starlets will on Wednesday emplane for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a three-week international training tour ahead of the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
They were expected to fly out to the Scandinavian nation of Denmark on August 31 for a tour before moving to Spain for a four-nation mini tournament, all in a bid to give them some international exposure. However, that arrangement was canceled at the last minute due to some administrative bottlenecks.
Revealing the details of the new arrangement to the team last Friday in Prampram, after the Minister of Youth and Sports Isaac Kwame Asiamah and his deputy Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide paid a visit to the camp of the team, the deputy Sports Minister noted that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the team will leave for Abu Dhabi (capital of UAE) to begin their final phase of preparation ahead of next months tournament.
He explained that the new arrangement put together by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), the Black Starlets Management Committee as well as the team’s technical team, will see 24 out of the 28 players in camp now flying for the tour.
“Whilst there, the Starlets will play two international friendly matches with teams who have also qualified for the World Cup but are not in Ghana’s group to keep the boys in shape and ready for the task ahead.”
Aside these two high profile games, the Starlets will also engage some other local youth teams in that country to gain the much-needed match fitness.
Head Coach of the team, Samuel Paa Kwesi Fabin, who hailed the new arrangement said he was very happy that the tour of Denmark could not come off as the weather in that side of the continent would not be favourable to his boys now, noting that he could not have asked for a better arrangement than the new one.
“We have until September 21, to present a final list of 21 players to FIFA, which is a mandatory requirement from the football governing body and we will use the few days at hand to sharpen the rough edges before the final choices are made.”
He revealed that although he has a fair idea of the team for the tournament, there is still places up for grabs as some players are showing sign of breaking into the final squad.
“In terms of player selection, it would be very tough as the new additions have brought serious competition to the team.”
By Raymond Ackumey
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