Sports News of Friday, 7 February 2014
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah believes the availability of some experienced players in his squad gives him the perfect balance going into the World Cup.
Lots of youngsters have made the transition in recent times into the Black Stars under Appiah and most are still learning the ropes of playing at the big stage.
Appiah stresses that having a number of players who have been involved in previous World Cups is invaluable to Ghana's third-straight appearance.
Ghana will have to deal with Germany, the United States and Portugal to advance from the group stages when the competition starts in Brazil later in June of this year.
"The good thing about having experienced players is that at this high level, you need players of high, high confidence to hold on to the ball," Appiah said.
"And at the same time you need young players who can also do the runs when needed, and fight and do some dirty work, and you have some experienced ones to finish it up."
A combination of youth and experience has certainly served Appiah well but the Ghana coach is not scared to leave out big names if it will serve his team well in Brazil.
"After the Cup of Nations, many of them – I took about ten young players who had never been to any competitions before – their confidence levels rose. And since then we’ve started winning all our games. Going to the World Cup, I know it’s not going to be easy. But saying that, the good thing is that my players are all playing at high-class teams, and for that reason there won’t be any panic, the confidence levels are also high, and I have a very good bench as well.
"I believe we have got very good players and as I said, any good team is a team that has a very good bench. I believe we will surprise the world," the Ghana coach said.