Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has finally had the opportunity of play for the Black Stars since having his nationality switch request endorsed by FIFA last week.
The striker played some 45 minutes in Saturday’s test game against Al-Shabbab in the United Arab Emirates where Ghana had been training ahead of the finals of the African Cup of Nations.
And with time approaching to kick off for Sunday’s opening game at the Ohene Djan Stadium, the player whose status looks like a new Ghana acquisition, is relishing the prospect of having a run out in front of the sold out stadium when the Black Stars get the competition underway in Group A against Guinea.
In an exclusive interview with the official newspaper of the Ghana Football Association, GFA News, the former Dutch Under-20 player says he’s counting down to Sunday’s opening game which kicks off at 17:00GMT.
“I was hopeful I would be cleared but the moment I heard I had been cleared and learnt also that I had made the squad for the Cup of Nations, my anxiety to play grew and I began counting down,” Quincy said to the GFA News at Ghana’s camp in Abu Dhabi.
“I just can’t wait to play my first game for Ghana. It is an experience I am really relishing and to play in front of the passionate Ghana fans in Accra will be a dream come true.
“It is going to be a fantastic atmosphere because we are playing at home and the crowd will be solidly behind us. I really want to be part of it and I am looking forward to that.
“I know everybody in Ghana wants the trophy and the squad is really determined to win it. As an individual, I am very happy that I have realized my dream of playing for Ghana and I am determined to contributing to Ghana’s success at the tournament.”
As he prepares to join in for his debut African Cup of Nations just like 13 other colleagues of his in the Ghana team, he describes the continent’s flagship sporting event as a ‘very big tournament’ which he is proud to be part of.
“I have watched the Cup of Nations a couple of times on television and to be part of this very big tournament is amazing.”
Quincy reiterated his commitment to Ghana saying his decision to switch nationality was a well-thought one and believed he had made the right choice.
“Once I decided to play for Ghana, I was convinced I had made the right decision. I have watched the team a couple of times and I like the way they play.
“It is a great team with great players and I am happy that at last I am part of this great team.
“I would have loved to be part of this team about a year ago but I had to wait for FIFA’s clearance. It took a long a time but at last I have fulfilled my dreams and I can’t wait to play my first game.”
Certainly, Quincy would have a feel of the buzz surrounding the competition when he first goes through arrival formalities at the Kotoka International Airport on Tuesday as the airport is awash with giant posters of the competition welcoming people to Ghana. And when he steps out, his fist encounter with the passionate supporters of Ghana football would be experienced as a large welcoming party wait to see them.