Accra Hearts of Oak’s hitman Daniel Afriyie Barnie and on-fire Bechem United attacker, Augustine Okrah will make a huge representation for local players following their invitation to the senior national team, the Black Stars for their upcoming international assignment.
The two were mentioned in a 33-man squad announced by the Stars new technical team lead by Coach Otto Addo, a former Ghana international.
The squad will commence preparation for a TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers against Madagascar and Central African Republic.
The Black Stars will also take part in a four-nation tournament that features Japan, Chile and Tunisia as part of the build up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in November.
The invitation of the two has come as a little surprise for local fans following their impressive showing this season in the Ghana Premier League.
Okrah has been key to Bechem United’s inspiring performance this season, coming to the rescue of the club when on the verge of losing games on a number of times and will be expected to stretch that form to the national team.
Barnie will also be expected to compete for space in the team to make a case for local based professionals who are often ignored in call-ups for such high profile games.
Fans will also see the return of Captain Andre Ayew who missed the World Cup play offs against Nigeria following his two-match suspension over his role in unsavoury event at the last AFCON held in Cameroun which resulted a red card.
Other veterans like hard tackling Mubarak Wakasso and experienced Jonathan Mensah.
Ghana will open her campaign with a home game on Wednesday, June 1 against Madagascar and face before the Central African Republic four days later.
Below is the full squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Jojo Wollacott- Swidon Town, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen- Kas Eupen, Lawrence Ati-Zigi- St. Gallen, Richard Ofori- Orlando Pirates.
Defenders: Denis Odoi- Club Brugge, Alidu Seidu- Clermont Foot, Gideon Mensah- Bordeaux, Abdul Baba Rahman- FC Reading, Abdul Mumin- Vitoria Guimaraes, Daniel Amartey- Leicester City, Joseph Aidoo- Celta Vigo, Jonathan Mensah – Columbus Crew.
MIDFIELDERS: Iddrisu Baba- RCD Mallorca, Edmund Addo –FC Sheriff Tiraspol, Elisha Owusu – KAA Gent, Mohammed Kudus- Ajax Amsterdam, Daniel Kofi Kyereh –FC St. Pauli Mubarak Wakaso – Shenzhen.
WINGERS: Joseph Paintsil- KRC Genk, Andre Ayew- Al Sadd FC, Augustine Okrah- Bechem United, Osman Bukari- FC Nantes, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku- Sporting Lisbon, Kamaldeen Sulemana- Stade Rennes, Yaw Yeboah- Columbus Crew, Christopher Antwi-Adjei –VFL Bochum.
STRIKER: Jordan Ayew- Crystal Palace, Daniel Afriyie- Hearts of Oak, Felix Afena Gyan- AS Roma, Kwesi Okyere Wriedt- Holstien Kiel, Antoine Semenyo- Bristol City, Benjamin Tetteh- Yeni Malatyaspor, Braydon Manu- SV Darmstadt.
BY ANDREW NORTEY