Sports News of Friday, 1 February 2013
Like many of Ghana's senior squads in recent times, the emergence of youngsters has been one of the key factors in driving their ambition.
At the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, coach of the Black Stars Kwesi Appiah included 10 tournament debutants in a rather young squad and entrusted Ghana's hopes in the first-timers.
The Ghana coach has said his side are maturing in the wake of huge expectation as they head into the quarter-finals on Saturday against Cape Verde.
“I have about ten players who had never been in such a competition before. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy in the initial games,” Appiah said on the eve of the crucial last eight fixture in Port Elizabeth.
“We’ve got so many youngsters in the team and they are now getting used to the competition.”
Game-by-game, the players have come to the fore, justifying Appiah's confidence in them as Ghana tries to advance to the semi-finals.
“They are developing game by game and we will give all our best tomorrow [Saturday] against Cape Verde.
“My players have done so well to get to the quarter-finals. We need to concentrate and try and take each game as it comes and I believe they will give off their best in order to move ahead.”
Appiah admits the Nations Cup is a tough platform to start from but despite some criticism back home after their first game at the competition, their performances in the campaign has left him encouraged.
“At the moment, they are all getting used to the competition. Their confidence levels are rising and their performance is also picking.
“That’s the good part I have seen about my team,” he said.
Ghana has reached the semi-finals of the last three Nations Cup competitions.