Stars For Abu Dhabi Camp Minus Top Players
Coach Kwasi Appiah’s programme for Black Stars’ build-up towards this year’s Africa Cup of Nations has suffered its first hiccup, as it appears he may not get the full compliment of his squad before the team’s arrival in their training camp in Abu Dhabi.
The Black Stars are scheduled to emplane to the Saudi Arabian city on Friday ahead of a big firendly game against the Pharoahs of Egypt in Abu Dhabi.
Even though some of the foreign-based stars are in the country, sources close to the Black Stars camp has revealed that most of these key actors included in the 26-man provisional squad announced by Coach Appiah would not be readily available.
According to the source, most the players who were in town to celebrate the yuletide have left for their respective bases, to play crucial games for their clubs on December 30, 31, and January 1 and would join camp after those matches.
“We agreed with most of these clubs to allow the players to play for them before they are released for the one month that they would be with the national team”, he stated.
However, some of the top stars who have been in the country since the Christmas holidays are expected to add to the local component of the Black Stars and team officials who are expected to leave Accra on Friday.
They include striker Asamoah Gyan, also the skipper of the side, Turkey-based defender Jerry Akaminko, Harrison Afful and striker Emmanuel Clottey, both of Tunisia’s Esperance, and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu of Udinese.
These groups of players are expected to join their local colleagues, namely goalkeepers Fatau Dauda and Daniel Adjei, defender Richard Kissi Boateng and striker Yahaya Mohammed who are set to leave Accra on the scheduled date.
According to the source, the rest of the full complement of the squad would be secured by Sunday when the rest of the players are expected to join the team from their respective bases ahead of the game with Egypt.
The Black Stars, apart from the Egypt friendly, would play the Carthage Eagles – incidentally one of the favourites for the trophy at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations – on January 10 before they fly to Cape Town for the tournament.