Black Starlets coach Paa Kwasi Fabin has stated that their ultimate goal at this year's African Junior Championship is to reach the semi finals of the competition.
Paa Kwasi and his team have been in Port Gentil preparing for the championship which begins on 14 May and paired in Group A alongside hosts Gabon, Cameroon and Guinea.
The team will be eyeing one of the four semi-final tickets which will secure qualification to the 2017 FIFA World Cup in India.
“The last 10 years has not been good for Ghana football especially at the U-17 level as we have failed to make it to the World Cup, which hitherto was a constant feature for the country. So the main aim of this team will be to qualify to the World Cup slated for India,” he said.
“The coaching staff, Management and the players are hoping we seal qualification by the second game. We want to qualify in grand style and that we want to achieve by the end of the first two games so that it would put us in a relax mood to tackle the rest of the games,” added Fabin.
The Starlets will open their campaign in Group A against Cameroon on May 14 in Port Gentil and follow it up three days later with a game against host Gabon before playing their final group game against Guinea on May 20th.
“I have respect for all the teams that made it to the finals. Every team is a potential banana peel, and I am a coach who does not undermine any opposition,” he declared.
Regarding preparations for the two-week tourney, the Ghana trainer says his side had the best of it, having sealed it with three international friendly matches against Tanzania and Niger where they drew 2-2 against the former away in Dar el Salaam and defeated the latter 4-0 over two legs in Accra.
The Starlets team abounds in so much talent right from the goalkeeping department to the forward line. Some players to watch include captain Eric Ayiah, Emmanuel Toku, Gabriel Leveh, Idriss Mohammed and Kwadwo Poku.
“We are ready for the tournament. We have been in camp for some time now and training has been rigorous and helpful to us as a team. We are just counting the days as we put finishing touches to our preparations,” said captain Ayiah.
On his part, forward Kwadwo Opoku said they have a fair idea of what to expect and are ready to make a name for themselves.
“Our coaches have been showing some excerpts of our opponents’ games to us, and we have been training well too. We are confident that when the tournament starts, we will start on a good not. We want our names to go down in Ghana football history like our seniors who won the tournament and conquered at the World Cup too,” said Opoku, on the books of lower side, Charity Stars.