Ghana’s male Under-20 football team, Black Satellites, are heading for Senegal as one of the favourites to win the 19th edition of the African Youth Championship (AYC), with Coach Sellas ‘Borbor’ Tetteh admitting that it won’t be an easy adventure winning a fourth title, but they are ready for the challenge.
According to Coach Tetteh, such tags brought unnecessary pressure on the boys who were eager to follow in the steps of their predecessors.
While Coach Tetteh, who led the team to their third title in 2009 and went on to be crowned world champions, admits that any team from Ghana is always considered favourites at any competition because of their skill and pedigree, he will be more interested with the performance of his team and not how they are tagged by the so-called pundits.
“It is not easy being a former champion and everyone will come playing tougher against us because we are the Ghana team. All these require us to be cautious and not being carried away or complacent. We will be ready for our first game on Monday and we will wait to see how it turns out,” Coach Tetteh told the Graphic Sports.
After two weeks of training in Turkey, the Satellites are expected to arrive in Dakar tomorrow and play their opening game against South Africa on Monday, eager to claim their first three points from Group B.
“I believe people see as favourites because we are Ghana, but the truth is, it is our performance that is more important to me. We are going to Senegal with our own dreams and expectations and realising them will engage our focus, rather than whether we are favourites or not,” he told the Graphic Sports.
Over the weekend, Coach Tetteh cleared the last preparation hurdle by naming his final 21-man squad, a team he described as ‘talented and determined to work hard for success.”
“All the players selected bring their unique qualities to the team, however, they are all determined to make it like their predecessors.
Coach Tetteh asserts that they are going to Senegal to claim one of the four World Championship tickets to New Zealand but reckons it will not be an easy task and the team will have to put in a lot of effort.
“With the teams on parade, it will not be an easy task just strolling into the semi-finals, everyone is going to Senegal with the intention of being crowned champions. It is our dream too, but we will take it a game at a time and work hard towards realising that dream,” Coach Sellas Tetteh, who led the Satellites to the team to their third AYC title in 2009.
Very much aware of the terrain and the opposition he is likely to get from Group B contenders, South Africa, Mali and Zambia, Coach Tetteh relishes the task ahead, but stressed the determination of his squad to scale the hurdle and qualify for New Zealand 2015.
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