Black Meteors Coach, Jones Attuquayefio, has pitched his hopes on seven foreign-based stars as the Ghanaian Olympic squad launch their final qualification bid for next year's Beijing Games next month.
The Meteors who qualified for the second round of the Olympic qualifiers at the expense of Burkina Faso are locked up in a fierce group with Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa to fight for only one slot.
The seven are Prince Tagoe (Al Shabab, UAE), Asamoah Djan (Udinese, Italy), Haminu Dramani (Genclerbiriligi, Turkey), Anthony Annan (IFK Start,Norway),Yao Kumordjie, (Egaleo, Greece) and Michael Helegbe (Guingamp,France).
Throughout their qualifiers for the All Africa Games, the Meteors had not had the luxury of playing with the full complement of their foreign component, because the Africa competition is covered by the FIFA clalender.
Confrming this to the Graphic Sports last Wednesday Attuquayefio said these players together with 18 locals who move to camp in Togo on Monday will form the core of his team.
He reckoned that the difficulty of the campaign was expressed in the tough presence of Nigeria even though South Africa and Ethiopia could still pose stiff challenges.
Interestingly, the Meteors beat their Nigerian counterparts to qualify for the All Africa Games but Jones appears unamused by that feat insisting that their bid to exact revenge could make things difficult for the Ghanaians.
The Nigerians appear not too ready for battle as Coach Samson Siasia has dissolved his dream team and subsequently invited 14 foreign-based players and 30 locals towards the reonstitution of the team.
Coach Attuquayefio said, battling with the altitude in Ethiopia also presents yet another challenge but believes that the All Africa Games in August where his outfit will come into confrontation with some of the best sides will toughen them for the Olympic qualifiers.
Story by Andy Quao