June 24, 2021

Wafu B U17 Cup: Ghana coach Fokuo anticipated Nigeria match-up

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The Black Starlets’ trainer reacts after being pitted against their familiar rivals in the race to Afcon 2021

Ghana coach Ben Fokuo has stated his outfit are not surprised to have drawn arch-rivals Nigeria for the upcoming Wafu B Cup of Nations.

The Black Starlets have been paired against their familiar foes who eliminated them from the 2017 championship in Togo.

That loss also denied the Black Starlets qualification for the 2017 Africa U17 Cup of Nations.

Cote d’Ivoire are also in Ghana’s group for this year’s event.

“We have been preparing for every situation because we already know our neighbouring countries and the teams in the zone,” Fokuo told the Ghana Football Association’s official website.

“We knew we will get to face Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and the rest.

“We are always prepared for every match because we know the strength of Nigeria and Ivory Coast. We are preparing and looking forward to our first match.”

Fokuo and his team have been in camp since last month, resuming training after the coronavirus outbreak scuppered their activities in March.

“The players are coping, we all know with the youth side they get to learn a lot of new things when they are in the national team’s camp,” said the coach.

“Since we resumed camp, we’ve ensured that we take them through various sessions to improve their fitness and technical skills.”

“We are working on conditioning and tactical play and after some few weeks, I can say they are coping well.

“We have also played some friendly matches and they are picking up gradually.

“Now that we are fully aware who we will play at the group stage, we will continue to get to the players to the required standard before the tournament.”

The upcoming Wafu B Cup will serve as qualifiers for the 2021 U17 Afcon in Morocco, where the four quarter-finalists will earn tickets for the 2021 U17 World Cup.

Only the Wafu B winners will get the nod to play at the African championship in Morocco.

Ghana’s last Afcon appearance came in 2017 when they finished second behind Mali. 

Their performance in Gabon was rewarded with a World Cup ticket, the Black Starlets reaching the quarter-final.