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21.12.2007 Sports News

Lloyd Owusu is the missing link for Ghana - Yaw Ampofo Ankrah - London

By myjoyonline
Lloyd Owusu is the missing link for Ghana - Yaw Ampofo Ankrah - London

''Why is Yaw Ampofo-Ankrah doing PR for Junior Agogo to go to Germany.....the player is not up to scratch and once again our journalists are hyping up average players'' - unknown comment on ghanaweb May 2006

''If only we had taken Agogo to Germany who knows what would have happened.....'' comment by Antwi Amponsah on November 2007

A journalist who is afraid to be ''wrong'' when everyone else is ''right'' has no business in the business.

For Ghana to lift the African Cup of Nations on February 10,there is no denying the fact we would need goals.

The countdown is speedily whittling away and for many players harbouring dreams of Ghana 2008, it is already over.
One player who refuses to give up on his dream to play for Ghana in a major tournament is Lloyd Owusu. At 29 he is at the prime of his career with League One side Yeovil. This follows a lengthy injury lay off whilst on duty for country. So why not now especially as Owusu would simply explode at such an opportunity.

The player was included in Ratomir Dujkovics' Germany World Cup squad but a nasty injury in Germany during a training match robbed him of his dream. At the time, Dujkovic said ''I know Lloyd would have made a big is a blow'' There are several calls here in London for the inclusion of Owusu who incidentally plays week in week out and has scored an average of a goal every two games.

The critics would argue why select a player from League One in England? Well the best striker currently playing for Ghana is a certain Mr. Junior Agogo.....and where does he play? End of argument. Infact as diplomatic as he has remained, Junior Agogo's best foul would be a player in the mould of Owusu. By the way Agogo has 9 goals so far this season and Owusu has 9 goals.

So what does Lloyd make of all the noise and speculation? ''I am a fighter and I never give up so even though my name is not on that list, I am confident someone somewhere will see what I am doing and give me a call'' That someone of course is Coach Le Roy.

The coach may have his work cut out if he listens to his colleagues like Yeovil coach Russell Slade.

Of course Ghana's gain would be Yeovil's loss in January and February but any good coach who wants the best out of his player would also do the best for his player. Owusu was outstanding yet again against Hartlepool where he struck his 9th goal of the campaign in a 3-1 win.

So before I return to Ghana, I will take the short trip down from North London to East London to watch Lloyd lead Yeovil against high flying Leyton Orient on Saturday. I will certainly conclude my report to Leroy and those at the GFA who GENUINELY want the best players and not the 'connection' players to line up for Ghana come January.

Indeed it is refreshing that the domestic league´s top scorer, Eric Bekoe of Asante Kotoko has been named along with with Black Starlets full-back Daniel Opare of AshantiGold.

23-year old Gillingham striker, Chris Dickson who plays in the English League One is included in the tall list.

Meanwhile the inclusion of Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on the list points to the FA awaiting FIFA´s decision on his eligibility to play for Ghana.

A ruling on Quincy's status is expected after the Christmas break, though the GFA has appealed for a fast-tracked process.

It is certain that more than half the number of the 40-man squad would be selected by Claude Le Roy for the Black Stars team that would take part in the training camp.

Le Roy would then name his 23-man squad for the African Cup of Nations before the January 10 deadline set by CAF for teams to submit their lists. I am willing to put my career on the line just as I did when I vouched for Baba Armando and Junior Agogo before the World Cup Finals in Germany. And my call is simple....Le Roy go for Owusu and avoid the losers' excuse of "had I known!!!"