Ghana national under-17 football team

The Ghana national U-17 football team known as the Black Starlets, is the youngest team that represents Ghana in football.[1] 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.

Ghana Under 17
Nickname(s)The Black Starlets
AssociationGhana Football Association
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Head coachGhana Paa Kwasi Fabin
FIFA codeGHA
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
Appearances9 (first in 1989)
Best resultWinners, 1991, 1995
Africa U-17 Cup of Nations
Appearances7 (first in 1995)
Best resultWinners, 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

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.

HistoryEdit

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, after Ghana placed third during the competition, being led by Cecil Jones Attuquayefio and assistant James Kuuku Dadzie.[2][3] 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[4] 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.[5] Today, many Ghanaian youngsters are in G14 Club Academies in Europe.

African U-17 controversiesEdit

2003 U-17 QualifiersEdit

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 FinalEdit

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 squadEdit

Head coach:   Paa Kwesi Fabin

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

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Club
1 1GK Ibrahim Danlad (2002-12-02) 2 December 2002 (age 19)   Asante Kotoko
16 1GK Kwame Aziz (2002-06-15) 15 June 2002 (age 19)   Mandela Soccer Academy
21 1GK Michael Acquaye (2000-08-10) 10 August 2000 (age 21)   WAFA

2 2DF John Otu (2000-04-12) 12 April 2000 (age 22)   Dreams F.C.
3 2DF Gideon Acquah (2000-05-24) 24 May 2000 (age 21)   Bofoakwa Tano
4 2DF Edmund Arko-Mensah (2001-09-09) 9 September 2001 (age 20)   Wa All Stars
5 2DF Najeeb Yakubu (2000-05-01) 1 May 2000 (age 22)   New Town Youth
12 2DF Abdul Razak Yusif (2001-08-09) 9 August 2001 (age 20)   Koforidua Youth
14 2DF Bismark Terry Owusu (2000-10-31) 31 October 2000 (age 21)   Mandela Soccer Academy
15 2DF Gideon Mensah (2000-10-09) 9 October 2000 (age 21)   Right to Dream
17 2DF Rashid Alhassan (2000-06-20) 20 June 2000 (age 21)   Aduana Stars

7 3MF Ibrahim Sulley (2001-07-06) 6 July 2001 (age 20)   New Life F.C.
8 3MF Mohammed Kudus (2000-08-02) 2 August 2000 (age 21)   Right to Dream
10 3MF Emmanuel Toku (2000-07-10) 10 July 2000 (age 21)   Cheetah F.C.
13 3MF Gabriel Leveh (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 22)   Tema Youth
18 3MF Mohammed Iddriss (2000-07-26) 26 July 2000 (age 21)   Cheetah F.C.

19 3MF Ibrahim Sadiq (2000-05-07) 7 May 2000 (age 22)   Right to Dream
20 3MF Isaac Gyamfi (2000-09-09) 9 September 2000 (age 21)   New Life F.C.
6 4FW Eric Ayiah (2000-03-06) 6 March 2000 (age 22)   Charity Stars
9 4FW Richard Danso (2000-09-16) 16 September 2000 (age 21)   WAFA
11 4FW Mohammed Aminu (2000-08-10) 10 August 2000 (age 21)   WAFA

Previous squadEdit

Technical TeamEdit

Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Paa Kwesi 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 RecordEdit

FIFA U-17 World Cup RecordEdit

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA GD
  1985 Did not participate
  1987 Did not qualify
  1989 First round 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1
  1991 Champions 6 4 2* 0 8 3 +5
  1993 Runners-up 6 5 0 1 14 3 +11
  1995 Champions 6 6 0 0 13 4 +9
  1997 Runners-up 6 4 1 1 14 5 +9
  1999 Third Place 6 4 2* 0 19 5 +14
  2001 Did not qualify
  2003 Did not qualify
  2005 First round 3 0 3 0 3 3 0
  2007 Fourth Place 7 4 0 3 13 9 +4
  2009 Did not qualify
  2011
  2013
  2015
  2017 Quarterfinals 5 3 0 2 8 3 +5
  2019 Did not qualify
  2021 To be determined - - - - - - -
Total 9/19 48 30 10 8 94 38 +56

Africa U-17 Cup of Nations RecordEdit

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA GD
  1995 Champions 5 5 0 0 16 1 +15
  1997 Third Place 5 3 0 2 9 6 +3
  1999 Champions 5 3 1 1 8 3 +5
  2001 Did not qualify
  2003
  2005 Runners-up 5 3 0 2 7 5 +2
  2007 Third Place 5 3 0 2 11 5 +6
  2009 Did not qualify
  2011
  2013 Group stage 3 0 2 1 2 7 -5
  2015 Disqualified
  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 recordEdit

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 honoursEdit

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

AwardsEdit

Golden ShoeEdit

Tournament FIFA Golden Shoe Award Player
  1999 Golden Shoe Award   Ishmael Addo
  1991 Silver Shoe Award   Nii Odartey Lamptey
  2007 Silver Shoe Award   Ransford Osei
  1997 Bronze Shoe Award   Owusu Afriyie

Golden BallEdit

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

Notable playersEdit

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 coachesEdit

FIFA Tourney Manager name
  1991   Otto Pfister
  1993   Isaac Paha
  1995   Sam Arday
  1997   Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie
  1999   Jones Attuquayefio
  2005   David Duncan
  2007   Sellas Tetteh
  Four Nations Tournament   Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie
  2017   Paa Kwesi Fabin

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Blackstarlets Archived May 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.www.ghanafa.org.
  2. ^ "Starlets leave for New Zealand". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  3. ^ "Debutante Princesses up for a fight". FIFA. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Superb Young Players". fifa.com. 2001-09-01. Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved 2001-09-01.
  5. ^ "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.

External linksEdit