No national team has made enough World Cup appearances like the Black Starlets since they successfully represented in their debut competition hosted by Scotland in 1989.
Ever since, the competition has become one of Ghana’s major platforms to raising talents to the senior sides with a great number of the present Black Stars team all past members of the age competition.
Ghana has a good record in the age competition having won two world titles plus two silver honours, a bronze collection and a final four finish.
Members of Ghana’s present national under-17 team, the Black Starlets hope to attain the standards of past victorious teams who won titles but they first have their sights set on beginning their African qualification with success.
And they begin that feat on Saturday when Ghana hosts Libya at the Ohene Djan Stadium in the opening qualifiers of the first round stage for a place at next year’s Africa U-17 Championship.
Ahead of the game, Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Sports, O.B. Amoah is imploring the national Under-17 side to begin their qualifiers in style as he challenges the team to put up a performance to surpass the shining feats of their predecessors.
“The previous Starlets managed to play in the World Cup and placed a respectable fourth and we expect you to surpass that record and emulate the shining examples of the 1991 and 1995 squads”, the deputy minister told the team when he visited their training grounds on Friday.
With the game coming barely a week to the senior team, the Black Stars’ World Cup qualifier against Libya in Tripoli next Friday, the minister talked up the importance of a win on Saturday for the seniors to glean from.
“Your game against the Libyans must be a yard stick and a good omen for the Black Stars as they get set to encounter the senior side of Libya in Tripoli.”
Fired up by the challenge, team coach E.K Afranie and captain Kwame Frimpong are hopeful of delivering a win for Ghana.
And for Saturday’s match, Afranie has predicted a “really good game” against Libya.
“We would surely deliver on Saturday. We know it’s a big game for us and we must win to start off the campaign well. The pressure would be on but we must win to ease the tension.”
The 8th Africa U-17 Championship would be hosted by Algeria in 2009 and it starts from the 19th of March till the 3rd of April 2009.