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27.05.2019 Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Stephen Appiah And Laryea Kingson Tips Black Stars To Impress In Egypt

By Sammy Heywood Okine
AFCON 2019: Stephen Appiah And Laryea Kingson Tips Black Stars To Impress In Egypt

Two popular ex-Black Stars players, Captain Stephen Appiah and Laryea Kingson are very hopeful that Ghana will shine in Egypt and win the Nations Cup this summer.

Appiah, a member of the technical staff said he expects a difficult nations cup tournament with 24 teams, but believes the expansion of the tournament will make it an exciting competition.

“The Africa Cup of Nations has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams. We just have to accept it. Players have to be ready for the Nations Cup this time around. It is not like going straight to the quarter-finals, there is the Round of 16 to cross, so it will be difficult,” Appiah said.

“But I wish all the participating countries the best of luck in the tournament,” he added.

The former Juventus and Fenabache midfield star thinks the time for Ghana to win again is ripe.

“Ghana will definitely win the Nations Cup,” Appiah confidently stated when asked if the Black Stars can end their 37-year wait for the title.

In another development, former Ghana winger, Laryea Kingson has reiterated that the ‘underdog’ tag on the team ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) could be an advantage in their quest to end a 37-year trophy drought.

But according to the former Lokomotiv Moscow, Heart of Midlothian and Accra Hearts of Oak star, Ghana’s chances at the continental showpiece next month remained bright despite being underrated due to the unavailability of big names in the team.

Kingson noted that the team did not necessarily need big-name players to excel in the competition just as Zambia and Cameroun proved when they won the continental title without known players.

“I don’t think the tournament is about names because Zambia and Cameroun won it recently when no one expected them because they didn’t have the big names.

“What matters most is the team playing collectively at the tournament in order to stand a chance at winning the competition because Ghana has a brighter chance of becoming champions,” said Kingson, who featured in the 2006 and 2008 AFCON tourneys.

Ghana’s Coach, Kwasi Appiah, labelled his side as ‘underdogs’ after the tournament draws in Egypt, with some Ghanaians bemoaning what they perceive as the lack of quality in the team despite parading big names such as Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew, John Boye, Harrison Afful, Kwadwo Asamoah and Mubarak Wakaso, among others, who are not in the best of form going into the tournament.

However, Kingson -- who made 41 appearances and scored six goals for the senior national team -- has urged coach Appiah to assemble a team that will be able to contest for the trophy and finally end the country’s long wait for a fifth continental title having been with the team for over the last two years.

Ghana will kick off preparations on June 1 in Dubai.UAE.