Ghana yesterday began their final leg of preparations in Naivasaha, Kenya ahead of their 2011 Africa Youth Championship trophy defence in South Africa.
The Black Satellites who are both defending African and World Champions are keen to match the title winning feat chalked by the 2009 squad.
Coach of the team, Orlando Wellington has declared it time for his Black Satellites to recognize their status as African Champions and aim for success again.
Pitted in Group B, Ghana take on rivals Nigeria, Cameroon and the Gambia in the competition for U-20 players.
Wellington, who was assistant coach for the Championship winning side two years ago says Ghana’s status as champions should be an inspiration to his new generation of Black Satellites players.
“The past success (2009 title winning feat) would have no bearing on this campaign but it would certainly be a source of inspiration for us,” Wellington told www.ghanafa.org.
“Winning the title in Rwanda was an important time for us. We put in lots of work and we would certainly approach the Championship with the same seriousness and aim to improve.
“The personnel, thus players are different but we have a wonderful group. We all share similar ambitions, winning the title.”
Being defending champions means, Ghana faces a tough task of living up to their billing with Wellington explaining that it could also play to their advantage.
“It (champions tag) gives us an edge over our opponents. It only seeks to remind us of the huge expectations out there.
“Opponents would give us respect and we would do same for them. But the major task of winning depends largely on us.
“We need to take each game as it comes. Be confident, adopt a good tactical approach and play till the last minute to see us through,” the Black Satellites coach said.
“Being champions does not mean an automatic place in the finals again. We need to earn it by working hard.”
Ghana lifted the title at the Championship for U-20 players two years ago in Rwanda for the third time in the history of the competition and would be represented at the up-coming tournament in South Africa from 17 April to 2 May.
Four teams in each group will meet in a round-robin format, with group winners and runners-up qualifying for the FIFA-organized U-20 World Cup in Colombia beginning in July.