Newly appointed Ghanaian Coach, James Kwesi Appiah has surprised football fans with his first Black Stars squad. Coach Appiah who is known for giving chances to upcoming players had earlier promised that the expected new look of the national team will definitely be based on competition and expertise.
The former Al Khartoum manager had therefore warned players both local and foreign to always give in their best anytime they represent their respective clubs, as they are being kept under close watch. This comment had hinted a possibility of new call-ups as well as removals.
The returning coach after all kept his word as he released a 30-man squad on Thursday, 25th May, 2017, in preparation for the various tournaments ahead of the team. While many popular names, some of who starred in the last AFCON were axed, a lot of home-based players as well as new internationals were called up.
Also See: Recent Changes in Ghana’s National Team
Appiah is determined this time around, to end Ghana’s long and frustrating ‘trophyless’ outings by ensuring that the national team becomes a formidable lot ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Ghana will be clashing with Ethiopia in their first AFCON qualifier match on Sunday June 11 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
The newly named Black Stars squad is expected to assemble in Accra Monday, 29th May, to begin preparations for the above games.
Old Players Dropped from the Black Stars Squad
Among the old faces that were omitted in Kwesi Appiah’s 30-man squad are Newcastle United star Christian Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso, and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu. Goalkeepers Razak Brimah and Fatau Dauda were also dropped while Kwadwo Asamoah and Crystal Palace star Jeffrey Schlupp failed to make a return from the wilderness.
Moreover, exiled Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari and his partner, Kevin-Prince Boateng of Las Palmas, were once again ignored.
Local and New International Call-ups
Wa All Stars goalie Richard Ofori, Kotoko’s Felix Annan, Hearts of Oak’s Winful Cobinnah and Aduana’s Joseph Addo and Daniel Darkwah all found spots in the new Black Stars squad. Liberty Professionals skipper Samuel Sarfo, together with Nicholas Opoku were also named.
Also in the 30-man squad are new faces such as Munich left-back Lumor Agbenyenu, Turkey-based Isaac Sackey, Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Sirius, and NAC Breda winger Thomas Agyepong. Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who missed the 2017 AFCON due to injury, was also included.
Jerry Akaminko, Qatar-based Rashid Sumaila and Columbus Crew midfielder Mohammed Abu, who all never played under the immediate-past coach Avram Grant, have all been called up.
Full List of Kwesi Appiah’s First Black Stars Squad
1. Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)
2. Adam Kwarasey (Brondby, Denmark)
3. Felix Annan (Kotoko)
4. Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars)
5. Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA)
6. Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England)
7. Lumor Agbenyenu (Munich 1860, Germany)
8. Daniel Darkwah (Aduana Stars)
9. John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey)
10. Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa, Qatar)
11. Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea)
12. Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA)
13. Jerry Akaminko (Eskiserhispor, Turkey)
14. Samuel Sarfo (Liberty Professionals)
15. Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew, USA)
16. Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy)
17. Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor, Turkey)
18. Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain)
19. Ebenezer Ofori (Stuttgart, Germany)
20. Kingsley Sarfo (Sirius, Sweden)
21. Winful Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak)
22. Yaw Yeboah (FC Twente, Holland)
23. Godsway Donyoh (Nordjaelland, Denmark)
24. Andre Ayew (West Ham, England)
25. Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium)
26. Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland)
27. Asamoah Gyan (Al Alhi, UAE)
28. Jordan Ayew (Swansea City, England)
29. Majeed Waris (Lorient FC, France)
30. Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland)