The national U-23 team, otherwise known as Black Meteors are preparing for the second-round qualifiers of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations against Mozambique. The first leg is scheduled for October 20-23 in Mozambique with the second leg fixed for October 28-30 2022 at the Cape Coast stadium.
Head Coach Ibrahim Tanko has been speaking to ghanafa.org on the team’s preparation at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence. The Black Meteors will play Premier League side Accra Lions on Saturday, after dispatching Dreams FC 2-1 in a similar exercise at the Accra Sports stadium on Wednesday.
Read on for the full transcript:
On failing to qualify for the Games in Tokyo
We didn’t get the chance to play at the Olympics in Tokyo but we have another chance and so we are doing everything possible so that we qualify for the Africa U-23 Championship and then to the Olympic games.
On difference between the preparation in 2019 and now
When we started the last time, we had a lot of problems because of the Normalisation but I think now, we have an FA in place and we hope that we will get all the support we need so that we will also give our best to qualify the team to the Olympics.
On getting the full compliment of team for preparation
We have almost three weeks and we have been in camp for the past two weeks and with the league on hold, we have all the players for training and are doing everything possible to qualify.
On aspirations ahead of Mozambique clash
We are playing Mozambique from the 21-23 October away and we hope by then, we have a solid team to present. We know it is not going to be easy but definitely we hope that we are going to qualify because we are working hard. There is no injury but we are waiting for Danlad Ibrahim and other players to join and so far, everyone is training hard.
On positives from Dreams FC friendly
The game against Dreams is our first competitive match since camping for about two weeks. We won 2:1 but definitely there is more room for improvement. We will improve on this performance as we prepare to play against Accra Lions as part of straightening our team for the task ahead.
The fourth edition of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations will take place in Morocco in June 2023.