Ghana national under-17 football team

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Ghana Under 17
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Black Starlets
Association Ghana Football Association
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Head coach Ghana Paa Kwasi Fabin
FIFA code GHA
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Ghana 1 - 1 Nigeria 
(Accra, Ghana; 10 August 1986)
Biggest win
 Ghana 7 - 0 Tunisia 
(Bamako, Mali; 20 May 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Ghana 1 - 6 Nigeria 
(Marrakech, Morocco; 14 April 2013)
FIFA U-17 World Cup
Appearances 9 (first in 1989)
Best result Winners, 1991, 1995
Africa U-17 Cup of Nations
Appearances 7 (first in 1995)
Best result Winners, 1995, 1999
Ghana national under-17 football team
Medal record
FIFA U-17 World Cup
Gold medal – first place 1991 Italy Team
Gold medal – first place 1995 Ecuador Team
Silver medal – second place 1993 Japan Team
Silver medal – second place 1997 Egypt Team
Bronze medal – third place 1999 New Zealand Team
Ghana national under-17 football team
Medal record
Africa U-17 Cup of Nations
Gold medal – first place 1995 Mali NA
Gold medal – first place 1999 Guinea NA
Silver medal – second place 2005 Gambia NA
Silver medal – second place 2017 Gabon Team
Bronze medal – third place 1997 Botswana NA
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Togo NA

The Ghana national U-17 football team known as the Black Starlets, is the youngest team that represents Ghana in football. They are two-time FIFA U-17 World Cup Champions in 1991 and 1995 and a two-time Runner-up in 1993 and 1997. Ghana has participated in nine of the 17 World Cup events starting with their first in Scotland 1989 through dominating the competition in the 1990s where at one time they qualified for 4 consecutive World Cup finals in Italy 1991, Japan 1993, Ecuador 1995 and Egypt 1997 to their most recent participation in South Korea 2007 where they lost in the World Cup Semi-finals 1-2 to Spain in extra time.

They have also won the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations two times in 1995 and 1999 and were Runners-up in 2005 and 2017 as well.

Superb young players

The Ghana U-17 national team is known as The Riley Goon Squad. A couple of Ghana's U-17 players have won the FIFA Golden Ball award: Nii Odartey Lamptey in 1991 and Daniel Addo in 1993. In the 1999 FIFA U-17, Ghanaian striker Ishmael Addo won the Golden Shoe award. Former Ghana U-17 and National Team Coach, Otto Pfister, a FIFA instructor, who led Ghana's U-17 squad to its first World Championship title in 1991, once remarked to FIFA Magazine that "Ghana has superb young players". At each of the first four FIFA World Under-17s held, Ghana reached the final each time, winning the title twice and finishing in second place twice. In 2007, youngster Ransford Osei won the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup Silver Boot for being the second highest scorer at the Tournament in South Korea.

What makes Ghana's footballers so dominant in their age group? FIFA Magazine[1] asked Otto Pfister. Football is not simply the most popular sport in this part of Africa, it is an absolute religion, he said. This is the way the game is regarded in Ghana. Young boys here think about football 24 hours a day and play for at least eight - whether on clay, rough fields or dusty streets. They develop their skills naturally, without any specific training, and end up with superb technique and ability on the ball. They are also fast and tricky, and can feint well with their bodies. Africa and South America have by far the best young footballers in the world - on a technical level they are superb. And technique is what it takes to make a good player.

What else goes towards making Ghana so strong? Otto Pfister continues; In Africa there is often only one way for many young lads to escape from poverty and to make their way up the social scale - football. Youngsters want to become stars and to play in a top European league. That is their main aim and they will do anything to achieve it. Let me give you an example: While I was coaching in Ghana I once told my team to be ready for training at three o'clock in the morning. At half past two they were all assembled and ready to go. They want to learn and they want to play for the national team. They know that in their country a national team player is a hero and enjoys a level of prestige that is not comparable to that in Europe. Another positive point for young players in Ghana is that there are many good coaches in the country who help develop the available talent and above all want to let them play. This policy pays off.[2] Today, many Ghanaian youngsters are in G14 Club Academies in Europe.

African U-17 controversies

2003 U-17 Qualifiers

On another note, two controversial incidents in Africa has prevented Ghana from adding to their two African U-17 trophies. On February 14, 2003, the Kenya Sports Minister Najib Balala disbanded their National U-17 team, claiming that 40% of the players who eliminated Ghana in the first round had been over-age; he sought to have Ghana re-instated and apologised to FIFA. CAF did not re-instate Ghana, but they did ban Kenya for two years from all CAF's age competition for fielding those over-age players.

2005 African U-17 Final

On May 23, 2005, Ghana played Gambia in the 2005 edition of the African U-17 Championship final. With the game deadlocked at 0-0, an 11 years old Gambian fan ran from the Stands onto the pitch, entered the Ghana goal area and dove into the net, distracting the Ghana goalkeeper Michael Addo in front of all CAF dignitaries, the Gambian President and a sell-out Stadium. Gambia scored on that play, Ghana protested, but the controversial goal stood and Gambia won their first trophy on that "goal". The "fan" was later revealed to be the now U-17 captain, Liam Riley, who was displaying his anger at not being selected for the Gambian squad.

Current squad

Head coach: Ghana Paa Kwesi Fabin

Squad announced for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup from 6 – 28 April 2017.

Number Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Club
1 1GK Ibrahim Danlad (2002-12-02) 2 December 2002 (age 16) Ghana Asante Kotoko
16 1GK Kwame Aziz (2002-06-15) 15 June 2002 (age 16) Ghana Mandela Soccer Academy
21 1GK Michael Acquaye (2000-08-10) 10 August 2000 (age 18) Ghana WAFA

2 2DF John Otu (2000-04-12) 12 April 2000 (age 18) Ghana Dreams F.C.
3 2DF Gideon Acquah (2000-05-24) 24 May 2000 (age 18) Ghana Bofoakwa Tano
4 2DF Edmund Arko-Mensah (2001-09-09) 9 September 2001 (age 17) Ghana Wa All Stars
5 2DF Najeeb Yakubu (2000-05-01) 1 May 2000 (age 18) Ghana New Town Youth
12 2DF Abdul Razak Yusif (2001-08-09) 9 August 2001 (age 17) Ghana Koforidua Youth
14 2DF Bismark Terry Owusu (2000-10-31) 31 October 2000 (age 18) Ghana Mandela Soccer Academy
15 2DF Gideon Mensah (2000-10-09) 9 October 2000 (age 18) Ghana Right to Dream
17 2DF Rashid Alhassan (2000-06-20) 20 June 2000 (age 18) Ghana Aduana Stars

7 3MF Ibrahim Sulley (2001-07-06) 6 July 2001 (age 17) Ghana New Life F.C.
8 3MF Mohammed Kudus (2000-08-02) 2 August 2000 (age 18) Ghana Right to Dream
10 3MF Emmanuel Toku (2000-07-10) 10 July 2000 (age 18) Ghana Cheetah F.C.
13 3MF Gabriel Leveh (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 18) Ghana Tema Youth
18 3MF Mohammed Iddriss (2000-07-26) 26 July 2000 (age 18) Ghana Cheetah F.C.

19 3MF Ibrahim Sadiq (2000-05-07) 7 May 2000 (age 18) Ghana Right to Dream
20 3MF Isaac Gyamfi (2000-09-09) 9 September 2000 (age 18) Ghana New Life F.C.
6 4FW Eric Ayiah (2000-03-06) 6 March 2000 (age 18) Ghana Charity Stars
9 4FW Richard Danso (2000-09-16) 16 September 2000 (age 18) Ghana WAFA
11 4FW Mohammed Aminu (2000-08-10) 10 August 2000 (age 18) Ghana WAFA

Previous squad

Squad that played in the 2013 African U-17 Championship from 13 – 27 April 2013.

Number Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Club
1 1GK Nii Kwesi
16 1GK Lawrence Ati
20 1GK Emmanuel Anning
3 2DF Michael Kwarteng
2 2DF Clifford Nott
4 2DF William Dankyi
5 2DF Mohammed Musa
13 2DF Yakubu Mohammed
14 2DF Hamza Hamidu
19 2DF Kingsley Fobi
6 3MF Gideon Waja
7 3MF Appiah MacCarthy
8 3MF Caleb Gomina
11 3MF Paul Asare De-Vries
12 3MF Yaw Yeboah
13 3MF David Atanga
15 3MF Thomas Agyapong
17 3MF Zakaria Mumuni --
18 3MF Emmanuel Oti Essigba
9 4FW Emmanuel Boateng
10 4FW Benjamin Tetteh

Technical Team

Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Paa Kwasi Fabin  Ghanaian
Assistant Coach Opeele Boateng.  Ghanaian
Goalkeeping Coach Najau  Ghanaian
Team Doctor Dr. Andrews Ayim  Ghanaian
Physiotherapist Jonathan Quartey  Ghanaian
Welfare Officer Emmanuel N. Dasoberi  Ghanaian
Equipment Officer John Ackon  Ghanaian

Competitive Record

FIFA U-17 World Cup Record

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA GD
China 1985 Did not participate - - - - - - -
Canada 1987 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Scotland 1989 First round 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1
Italy 1991 Champions 6 4 2* 0 8 3 +5
Japan 1993 Runners-up 6 5 0 1 14 3 +11
Ecuador 1995 Champions 6 6 0 0 13 4 +9
Egypt 1997 Runners-up 6 4 1 1 14 5 +9
New Zealand 1999 Third Place 6 4 2* 0 19 5 +14
Trinidad and Tobago 2001 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Finland 2003 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Peru 2005 First round 3 0 3 0 3 3 0
South Korea 2007 Fourth Place 7 4 0 3 13 9 +4
Nigeria 2009 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Mexico 2011 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
United Arab Emirates 2013 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Chile 2015 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
India 2017 Quarterfinals 5 3 0 2 8 3 +5
Peru 2019 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Total 9/17 48 30 10 8 94 38 +56

Africa U-17 Cup of Nations Record

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA GD
Mali 1995 Champions 5 5 0 0 16 1 +15
Botswana 1997 Third Place 5 3 0 2 9 6 +3
Guinea 1999 Champions 5 3 1 1 8 3 +5
Seychelles 2001 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Eswatini 2003 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
The Gambia 2005 Runners-up 5 3 0 2 7 5 +2
Togo 2007 Third Place 5 3 0 2 11 5 +6
Algeria 2009 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Rwanda 2011 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Morocco 2013 Group stage 3 0 2 1 2 7 -5
Niger 2015 Disqualified - - - - - - -
Gabon 2017 Runners-up 5 2 2* 1 9 1 +8
Total 7/12 33 19 5 9 62 28 +34

CAF U-16 and U-17 World Cup Qualifiers record

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA GD
1985 Did not participate - - - - - - -
1987 Second Round 2 0 2 0 1 1 0
1989 Third Round 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2
1991 Fourth Round 5 3 1 1 8 3 +5
1993 Final Round 4 4 0 0 9 1 +8
Total 4/5 15 9 4 2 23 8 +15

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Overall U17 Record
U17 Record GP W D L GF GA GD Success
U17 World Cup Finals 48 30 10 8 94 38 +56 74.42%
U17 Africa Quals/ Finals 58 38 8 12 108 44 +64 72.41%
U17 Total 106 68 18 20 202 82 +120 73.42%

FIFA U-17 World Cup Record by team

Ghana versus GP W D* L GF GA GD Succ.
 Spain 5 2 2 1 6 5 +1 60%
 Brazil 5 3 1* 1 9 7 +2 70.00%
 Japan 2 2 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Cuba 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 75%
 Bahrain 2 1 0 1 5 1 +4 50%
 Mexico 2 2 0 0 8 1 +7 100%
 Uruguay 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 100%
 United States 3 2 0 1 4 1 +3 75%
 Oman 2 2 0 0 7 2 +5 100%
 Costa Rica 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 75%
 Scotland 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 50%
 Ecuador 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100%
 Portugal 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Argentina 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 50%
 Thailand 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100%
 Qatar 1 0 1* 0 0 0 0 50%
 Italy 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100%
 Australia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100%
 Chile 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100%
 Peru 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 75%
 China PR 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 50%
 Nigeria 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0%
 Germany 2 0 0 2 3 5 -2 0%
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100%
 Colombia 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 100%
 India 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100%
 Niger 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Mali 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0%
Total 47 29 10 8 92 38 +54 74.42%

*Denotes draws including the 1991 & 1999 Semi-Final matches decided on penalty kicks v Qatar (4-2p) & Brazil (2-4p).

Africa U-17 Cup of Nations Record by team

Ghana versus GP W D* L GF GA GD Succ.
 Mali 5 2 1 2 5 5 0 50%
 Mozambique 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Tunisia 2 2 0 0 8 0 +8 100%
 Guinea 2 1 1 0 3 0 +3 75%
 Nigeria 4 1 0 3 5 11 -6 0%
 Ethiopia 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4 100%
 Angola 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 50%
 Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Cameroon 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 100%
 Burkina Faso 3 2 0 1 7 4 +3 75%
 Gambia 2 1 0 1 1 1 0 50%
 Ivory Coast 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2 75%
 Eritrea 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 100%
 Togo 1 0 0 1 1 2 -2 0%
 Congo 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 50%
 Gabon 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100%
 Niger 1 0 1* 0 0 0 0 50%
Total 33 19 5 9 64 29 +35 69.11%

*Denotes draws including the 2017 Semi-Final match decided on penalty kicks v Niger (6-5p).

CAF U-16 and U-17 World Cup Qualifiers record by team

Ghana versus GP W D* L GF GA GD Succ.
 Nigeria 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 75%
 Cameroon 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 50%
 Ivory Coast 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 75%
 Sierra Leone 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 50%
 Guinea 2 1 1 0 3 0 +3 75%
 Morocco 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100%
 Senegal 2 2 0 0 4 1 +3 100%
 Egypt 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 100%
Total 15 9 4 2 23 8 +15 78.12%

Team honours

1991, 1995
1993, 1997
1999
1995, 1999
2005, 2017
1997, 2007

Awards

Golden Shoe

Tournament FIFA Golden Shoe Award Player
New Zealand 1999 Golden Shoe Award Ghana Ishmael Addo
Italy 1991 Silver Shoe Award Ghana Nii Odartey Lamptey
South Korea 2007 Silver Shoe Award Ghana Ransford Osei
Egypt 1997 Bronze Shoe Award Ghana Owusu Afriyie

Golden Ball

Tournament FIFA Golden Ball Winner
Italy 1991 Ghana Nii Odartey Lamptey
Japan 1993 Ghana Daniel Addo

Notable players

The following list consist of previous Ghana U-17 national team players who have won or were influential at the FIFA U-17 World Cup with the Ghana U-17 national team or the FIFA U-20 World Cup with the Ghana U-20 national team, and those who were part of the Ghana U-23 national team that won the Bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The list also includes the players who have graduated from the Ghana U-20 national team and gone on to represent the senior Ghana national team at the FIFA World Cup or African Cup of Nations:

Notable coaches

FIFA Tourney Manager name
2007–2008 Ghana Sellas Tetteh
2005–2007 Ghana Sulley Mohammed[3] 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship
Italy 1991 Germany Otto Pfister
Japan 1993 Ghana Isaac Paha
Ecuador 1995 Ghana Sam Arday
Egypt 1997 Ghana Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie
New Zealand 1999 Ghana Jones Attuquayefio
Peru 2005 Ghana David Duncan
South Korea 2007 Ghana Sellas Tetteh
Libya Four Nations Tournament GhanaEmmanuel Kwesi Afranie

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Superb Young Players". fifa.com. 2001-09-01. Retrieved 2001-09-01.
  2. ^ "Ghana: talented players as far as the eye can see". fifa.com. 2004-09-17. Archived from the original on 2004-10-27. Retrieved 2004-09-17.
  3. ^ Blackstarlets Archived May 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine..www.ghanafa.org.

External links

  • 2007 U17 World Cup Tournament Page
  • Ghana Football Association - Official website
  • Ghana Premier League website
  • Ghanaweb Sports Page
  • RSSSF Archive of all FIFA U17 Matches
  • RSSSF Archive of all African U17 Matches
  • 2005 African U17 Final Controversy Video
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