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U-23 AFCON: Black Meteors coach Ibrahim Tanko urges new players to grab chance

By Vincent Ashitey

Black Meteors head coach Ibrahim Tanko has urged new members of his squad players to take advantage of the opportunity to secure their places in the team. 

Tanko went into the competition without several of his key players whose clubs have all turned down the request because it is not in the FIFA Calendar.

The likes of Majeed Ashimeru, Gideon Mensah, Joseph Painstil, Isaac Twum among others are those who could not make the trip to Egypt due to their clubs refusing to grant them permission.

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However, Ibrahim Tanko is hoping the players will take the opportunity presented them.

"It is quite unfortunate that we didn't get them, but I think those who were invited will also have the chance to prove themselves."

I believe in them that, they are going to also show what they can do since they came I have been happy with their performance and sure that on Friday they are going to prove also deserve to be here.

Meanwhile, GFA President Kurt Okraku has charged the team to secure next Summer's Olympics ticket.

"It's been sixteen years since we qualified to the Olympics and you have about three or four games away from a ticket to the Olympics. We believe you can do it so believe in yourselves and do it for Ghana." 

Ghana opens her campaign against Cameroon on Friday, November 8 at the Cairo International Stadium at 8:00 pm, before facing Egypt and Mali on 11 and 14 November respectively.

READ ALSO: U-23 AFCON: Black Meteors coach Ibrahim Tanko lifts lid on Ropapa Mensah's omission 

Ibrahim Tanko for the first time trained with the full complement of his team after the late-arrival of FC Utrecht striker Issah Abbas and the team will have their last training later tonight at Cairo International Stadium ahead of the Friday's opener.

The top three finishers at the final tournament will qualify to represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Ghana is seeking a return to the competition since its last appearance in 2004 in the Athens Olympic Games.