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18.02.2009 Football News

Rajevac desires improved Stars

By Ghana FA
Rajevac desires improved Stars

Players of the Black Stars have little time to hone their performances under Milovan Rajevac as Ghana nears the final stages of preparations for the African Nations Championship.

Twenty-three players have been preparing in Sekondi since Saturday for the inaugural Championship involving eight sides from the continent.

Having played key roles for their club sides in the domestic league, the players are expected to adapt to the modules of the Serbian as he leads Ghana to the tournament which starts this weekend in the Ivory Coast.

“We are working very well and I am satisfied with the level of work.

“There has been some pleasant surprises though some can still prove themselves for regular places.

“I am satisfied with the effort and behaviour of the players. That was our goal and I think they have shown good qualities,” the Ghana coach said.

Milovan Rajevac, has laid down the gauntlet to his players ahead of the opening game against Zimbabwe on February 23.

“They (players) know what is expected. They must be proud to put on the jersey.”

For Rajevac, it's a busy period with another important assignment coming up next month when the 2010 World Cup and CAF Nations Cup qualifiers begin.

“There is no pressure. The job of a coach is always to work and look for solutions. As we (technical team) work, we find other options.

“We are preparing for the tournament (CHAN) and after that, we can look at the World Cup qualifiers which is also very important.”

Ghana has been paired with Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Libya in Group B for the African Nations Championship, a competition designed for locally-based players only.

The Black Stars, seeded as the top side in Group B would be based in Bouake, the second largest Ivorian city.

Eight nations including the hosts, Ivory Coast would be competing for the maiden Championship.

The tournament kicks off from the 22nd February-8th March 2009.

Ghana squad
Samuel Inkoom, Ofosu Appiah, Jordan Opoku, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Francis Coffie, Stephen Manu and Kwadwo Poku (Asante Kotoko)

Philemon MacCarthy, Michael Osei Bonsu and Charles Asampong Taylor (Accra Hearts of Oak)

Daniel Agyei, Sam Ayew Yeboah and Yaw Antwi (Liberty Professionals)

Daniel Yeboah and Edmund Owusu Ansah (Heart of Lions)

Isaac Owusu and Francis Mantey (Wa All Stars)
Ernest Sowah (Tema Youth) Rahim Ayew (Eleven Wise) Iddrisu Yahaya (Kessben) Mohammed Habib (AshantiGold) Harrison Afful (Feyenoord) and Ebo Andoh (King Faisal).