Monday, 25 April 2011

We have to go back to drawing board - Preko

World and African champions Ghana are out of the Orange African Youth Championship South Africa 2011 contest following a 2-1 defeat by Nigeria, and a 1-1 draw with Gambia and Cameroon respectively.

Following this, Ghana assistant coach, Preko Yaw, who was a member of Ghanaian Olympic bronze medal team in 1992 and the U-17 World Cup winning team in Italy 1991, gave an audience to What went wrong with your team in this competition?

Preko Yaw: I strongly believe it was overconfidence. Being the World and African Champions, the boys thought they could walk away easily with 3 points in every game.

They just couldn’t replicate what their predecessors did. This is a lesson for us and in future, we just have to put things in order. Was Ghana missing some players in this tournament?

Preko Yaw: This is the best we have. The point is that when your best don’t perform as expected, one now feels that those players dropped may have done better. What is the impact of this early exit on Ghanaian youth football?

Preko Yaw: It will have enormous effect because this is a generation set up to build the national team. With this, we may experience big gap from now in racing future players for the national team. However or fortunately, we still have many players from the previous junior team in the national team. What plans to you have to correct this?

Preko Yaw: We have to go back to the drawing board. Take a proper check on our selection of players; looking at their character and ability to withstand tournament pressure. Some players can only perform on home soil. We just have to take this, among other characteristics, into consideration. As World and African Champions, what is your advice to the semi finalists:

Preko Yaw: They just have to believe in themselves. With the elimination of Ghana, it is now an open contest. For the World Cup in Colombia, they just have to be well prepared because it is not going to be easy. All eyes will be on them since Africa is the defending champions. Also, the absence of Ghana shows that the best teams qualified. Note that it was a surprise to many that Africa could be world champions in junior level. How do you evaluate the competition so far?

Preko Yaw: I saw a lot of potentials. Individually, the boys were very good. Egypt, South Africa and Lesotho gave a good account of themselves. It is a competition that will continue to attract world attention and produce great talents. What is your advice to people at home after this exit?

Preko Yaw: They have to be patient.  We are sorry for what happened. At the same time, it is a part of football that is difficult to swallow. We just have to move on, make sure that the mistake we made is corrected and forge ahead with how best to move youth football forward again.

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