The national under-20 team coach, Jimmy Cobblah, says the Black Satellites will need to prepare well to meet the strong challenge they face at next year’s African Youth Championship in Niger after Ghana was pooled with Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali in Group B.
He said his main target would be to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and that requires good preparation as the other teams would have similar ambitions.
“Our focus is to make a significant appearance in Niger by qualifying to the World Cup in Poland and we are bent on ensuring that we prepare adequately to achieve that,” Cobblah noted.
Cobblah admits that his side find themselves in the toughest group of the tournament but believes that with the right preparation, his side have what it takes to cope with any threat from their opponents with the right preparations.
In an interview with the Graphic Sports, the Satellites gaffer expressed the hope that he would have the full complement of his squad to provide him with a lot of options by the time the competition kicks off in Niamey on February 2.
“Our group is going to be tough among the teams because we are all equally good countries. I don’t see any of the teams there ahead of us, but what I think we need now is the right preparations and I bet we will definitely go through.
“We will cope with any threat by our opponents at the tournament and I’m looking forward to having a full house of my players in order to prepare adequately for the competition,” he said.
The Satellites have pitched camp at Prampram to commence preparation for the African championship following their poor performance at the just-ended West Africa Football Union (WAFU) U-20 tournament which saw the Ghanaians suffering losses to Niger (0-1) and Nigeria 2-4).
Coach Cobblah blamed the Satellites’s early exit on poor preparations. He explained that unlike his opponents, who had a longer period of perpetration, he had just two weeks to prepare for the tournament with only home-based players.
“We didn’t prepare well for the WAFU tournament as compared to our opponents. Mind you, we decided to use the competition as a preparatory ground for the upcoming continental campaign in Niger next year.”
Touching on his commitment to ensure a World Cup qualification when they participate in Africa from February 2-17, coach Cobblah said it would be at an advantage to the Satellites should any of his group B opponents underrate them based on their performance at the WAFU competition.