WAFU B U-17 Cup of Nations: 5 Black Starlets players to watch as tournament begins

The 2024 edition of the WAFU B U-17 Cup of Nations is set to commence on Wednesday, May 15, with the tournament being staged in Accra, Ghana.

The tournament will primarily be played at the University of Ghana Stadium with just one game being played at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The Black Starlets will play the first game of the Championship as they come up against Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday with kickoff set at 16:00 GMT.

The team is now under the care of Laryea Kingston, who 27 years ago, represented the Starlets at the U-17 World Cup where they lost in the final to Brazil.

Kingston named his 20-man squad for the tournament on Tuesday, May 14, with high hopes of returning to the continental stage.

The team – largely made up of the players from the Russia tour where Ghana played three games, winning two and losing one – will be looking to continue the recent successes of the junior national teams.

Here are five players to watch from the Black Starlets team at the tournament:

  • Benjamin Tsevanyo – Attacker

Without a doubt, Tsevanyo has been a key player for the team since his introduction last year. Under Kingston, the Great Olympics lad has been handed the captaincy role in the team and has led both on and off the field.

After his impressive outing in Serbia last year during the UEFA U-16 Development tournament, Tsevanyo starred once again in Russia, scoring two of Ghana’s 11 goals at this year’s edition, one short of top scorer Zakhar Chushkin.

  • Ernest Ofori – Midfielder

Ofori, who is also the captain of Great Somas, was one of the standout performers in Russia. After coming of the bench to score Ghana’s consolation goal against the hosts, the 16-year-old started and played the entire duration of the rest of the games.

His calmness on the ball and composure sets him apart from his competitors. Ofori also could break down attacks while boasting quick and forward-thinking abilities.

  • Michael Armah – Goalkeeper

You don’t often see goalkeepers getting the credit they deserve in today’s game but for Armah, this narrative is different.

His confidence in the games he has played has been over the roof. Armah is the first point of Kingston’s side playing out from the back and he does it effortlessly, picking out the right passes.

Good reflexes and command of his aerial duels mean the shot-stopper could be in post for the Black Starlets at the tournament.

  • Joseph Narbi – Attacker

Narbi has every quality you would want your attacker to have; pace, dribbling ability, attacking the box, and putting in defensive shifts. He displayed of all these in the UEFA tournament and that could be enough to earn him a starting berth in Kingston’s team for the tournament.

Just like Tsevanyo, Narbi also scored twice in Russia, finishing as one of Ghana’s top scorers in the competition.

  • Abdulai Nortey – Midfielder

There is nothing more pleasing than watching a left-footed player who knows what to do anytime he is on the ball. The assistant captain of the team has it all to himself.

Nortey is one of two defensive midfielders in the team alongside Ernest Ofori. However, Nortey has an eye for goals and gives you the ability to dictate the tempo of games when you are in the lead.

However, his shortcomings have to do with the fact that he has little or no awareness of his environment when he is on the receiving end of the ball.

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