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CK Akonnor announces Black Stars squad for Mali friendly 

The Black Stars will play Mali in an international friendly on 9 October – the team’s first competitive game since November 2019

Ghana coach Charles Kwablan Akonnor has announced a 23-man squad to face Mali in an international friendly next month.

The Black Stars will play the Eagles 9 October 2020 in the Turkish city of Antalya. 

The game is part of Ghana’s preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Sudan. 

Akonnor’s squad has a couple of new faces, including the highly-rated John Antwi and Emmanuel Lomotey.

He is hopeful the game against Mali will be a good test for his players ahead of more competitive matches.

Breakdown of squad

The latest Black Stars squad is slightly different from the one that played against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe last year. 

The likes of Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso, Thomas Partey and goalkeeper Richard Ofori maintained their places.

Ajax new boy Mohammed Kudus and Besiktas’ Bernard Mensah are also in the squad, while Crystal Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp also makes a return. 

Goalkeepers

Richard Ofori (Maritzburg), Richard Ati Zigi (St. Gallen), Razak Abalora (Unattached).

Fullbacks

Benson Anang (Zilina FC), Lumor Agbenyenu (Sporting Club), Yakubu Mohammed (Azam FC), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria de Guimaraes).

Centre Backs

Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), Joseph Aidoo (Celta de Vigo), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens), Kassim Nuhu (Hoffenheim).

Midfielders

Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens), Bernard Mensah (Besiktas), Baba Iddrisu (RCD Mallorca).

Attackers/Wingers

Andre Ayew (Swansea), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), John Antwi (Pyramids FC), Eugene Ansah (Hapoel Shmona), Jefferey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Samuel Owusu (Al Fayha FC), Kamal Deen (Nordsjaelland SC), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax SC).

Team bonding

Akonnor will be taking charge of his first game since replacing Kwasi Appiah as Black Stars coach.

The 46-year-old said he is already getting to know his players, insisting he is bent on having a good relationship with the senior players in the team.

“I have been able to engage the other players as well and what I have done is to communicate positively with them on the way forward, what ought to be done, what cannot be accepted in the team and all that.” 

“The message is clear and they are aware of what to do when it is time. I am looking forward to a very good response, a disciplined team. Apart from the fact that when we go on the field to play, behaviour outside the field of play is also key for us,” he said.

Akonnor said: “I am not tensed; this is a friendly match and it is important for me to look deep into it and see who can help the team and make it better. We want to be a team that will attack and play constructive football, easy-going football, but with lots of discipline.

“I want to try as much as I can to bring our style of play, I have been around for a while and everyone knows how I go about my team, how they play and that is the Ghanaian way of playing, and so I want to do my best in that area,” he said. 

E A Alanore   

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Source
Ghanafa.org
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