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Sports News of Sunday, 28 April 2019


Kwesi Appiah hopeful of making Ghana AFCON 2019 squad

Kwesi Appiah says he has "unfinished business" with Ghana and remains "very hopeful" that he will be in the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in June.

The AFC Wimbledon forward, one of the key players for the Black Stars when they reached the final of the 2015 tournament, was recalled by Ghana in March for the first time in four years for the qualifier against Kenya.

"For me going back to Afcon would be a massive honour," Appiah told the BBC World Service's Sportsworld programme.

"I've given everything, every time I've been in that shirt, the coach knows that the players know my value in the team.

"I'm hopeful I will get that call because I have unfinished business and we as a nation have unfinished business. Hopefully, the experience from the previous tournament I went to can be taken into consideration.

"It was nice to be involved in the recent squad and show what I can do ahead of the final selection for Egypt.

"I had a good chat with the manager, we've got a good relationship, we're pretty open and honest about things and hopefully that call comes and we can get back together again and create some magic."

Appiah, 28, believes the 2019 Ghana squad - coached by his namesake Kwesi Appiah - is potentially more talented than the group of players that reached the 2015 Nations Cup final in Equatorial Guinea.

"The group has been built over a longer period of time. Back in 2015, the manager Avram Grant was brand new so he had to select players over a short period of time without having a long period to bed them all in together.

"This time around, the experience as a group is a lot tighter because they've been through training camps, been through qualification, been through friendlies and this manager is building this squad around this tournament to really at our best for this tournament.

"Thomas Partey is world class. You can see his quality, you can see why he's a wanted man. The guy is a sensational talent. And the team as a whole should be in a much better place.

"Ever since 2015, every international break or tournament that's gone by, all that's been in my mind is we need to get that trophy.

"It's a big, big deal and getting so close on my first attempt makes me realise how important it is to win that trophy. Hopefully this year we can take the trophy home."

Ghana will play in Group F of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt alongside Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.