Usual ‘suspects’ dominate Akonnor’s squad for Black Stars friendlies, Amartey returns

Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey was named in Charles Akonnor’s 30-man squad for the Black Stars international friendly games next month.

This confirms his return to the team after a three-year absence due to injuries.

Medeama midfielder Rashid Nortey is the only new player in the squad.

Nortey’s inclusion is a reward for his outstanding performances this season, being a key contributor to Medema’s title charge.

But, he is not the only local player as Gladson Awako, Philemon Baffour, Joseph Adjei, Ismail Ganiu, Ibrahim Danland and Razak Abalora are all part of the squad.

Captain Andre Ayew will lead the team with support from his able assistants Thomas Partey and goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who recently recovered from injury.

The Black Stars will play Morocco and Ivory Coast in June after the 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for that month were scrapped.

The game against Morocco will take place in Rabat on June 8 before the Black Stars face Ivory Coast at the Cape Coast Stadium on June 12.

Akonnor hopes the games will provide the perfect replacements after the world cup qualifiers were stalled but crucially as well give him the opportunity to spend vital training fay’s with his players at the end of the regular season.

The Black Stars are pitched against South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia on the way to Qatar.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates), Razak Abalora (Asante Kotoko), Ibrahim Danlad (King Faisal)

Left back: Baba Abdul Rahman (PAOK), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria Guimaraes)

Right back: Andy Yaidom (Reading FC), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC)

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Centre back: Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg FC), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Ismail Ganiyu (Asante Kotoko), Joseph Adjei (Legon Cities), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens FC)

Midfield: Mubarak Wakaso (Shenzhen FC)Thomas Partey (Arsenal FC), Kudus Mohammed (Ajax Amsterdam), Rashid Nortey (Medeama SC), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Steadfast FC), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens SC), Gladson Awako (Great Olympics), Baba Idrissu (RCD Mallorca)

Left Wing: Samuel Owusu (Al-Fayha FC), Emmanuel Gyasi (Spezia), Frank Acheampong (Shenzhen FC), Tariqe Fosu Henry (Brentford FC)

Right Wing: Kamal Sowah (OH Leuven), Kamaldeen Sulemana (Nordsjaelland)

Forward: Andre Ayew (Swansea City FC), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace FC), Kwame Opoku (USM Alger), Joseph Paintsil (Ankaragücu).