Source: isports360.com | December 12, 2018
The continent is ready for yet another intriguing competition as domestic league champions and runners up in selected countries battle for the 2018 Africa Cup for Club Champions. Ghana will as usual be represented in the male and female category; Ghana Authority men and women, Exchequers Hockey Club and Ghana Police female Hockey team. The country for the first time ever won gold at the ACCC courtesy GRA women in 2017 and will be looking to repeat the feat in Abuja, Nigeria.
With these clubs ready and set for Abuja, isports360 takes a look at players who can lead the West African giants to glory.
ERNEST OPOKU (GRA MEN)
He is regarded by far as the best defender in the country. The former Sports Writers Association of Ghana Male Hockey Player of the year will be the main force for the GRA male team. Despite losing the league title, Ernest played a major role in GRA’s qualification to Africa. The defender bagged 10 goals (8 from penalty corners) in the just ended GAHA league. A penalty conversion rate of 79% makes him the dangerous player prior to the ACCC when it comes to penalty corners; the Gonzalo Peillat of Africa.
NICHOLAS HANSON (GRA MEN)
Not the most skillfully of players but undoubtedly the dangerous striker the nation has per the just ended league season. With 9 goals to his credit during the just ended GAHA league, Nicholas is the man to lead the attack for GRA in their quest for continental glory. The pace and power behind the ball doesn’t really matter, as soon as it gets into the scoring circle, you bet on Nick deflecting it past whoever is in the post.
SALYA NSALBINI (GRA MEN)
Experience always counts and that’s what Salya brings on board. The former Trustees Hockey player has formed a formidable defensive pair with Ernest Opoku as well bagging goals for GRA. A slow start to the league due to an injury and many thought the Ghanaian skipper has nothing to offer gain in hockey. However, with 6 league goals in the 2018 GAHA league, Salya regained the confidence from the GRA faithfuls as well as Ghanaians and is one of the dangers in the GRA side.
ANKOMAH EMMANUEL (EXCHEQUERS )
He needs no introduction when it comes to hockey. The Ghanaian international was the top scorer the last time he played in the ACCC (2016) and with an amazing 2018 season, the Exchequers skipper is a must watch. He has the pace, very skillfully and also very intelligent on and off the ball. The skipper who managed 4 league goals in the 2018 GAHA league is part of the side that dethroned and strip GRA off their league title as well as other local trophies.
SAMUEL AKPENE (EXCHEQUERS)
The dissolution of Trustees Hockey Club turned out to be a blessing for Exchequers Hockey club with the acquisition of Samuel Akpene. The young lad displayed both defensive and attacking propects in the 2018 GAHA league. Samuel is on the verge of becoming the nation’s best defender and a national call up without him is impossible. With four league goals all coming from penalty corners as well as helping Exchequers concede the least number of goals in the league, the Bankers will surely be a force to reckon with if he plays.
OSMANU MOHAMMED (EXCHEQUERS)
Mohammed who also joined Exchequers from Trustees is another player to watch out for. The yet to be capped Ghanaian international was undoubtedly the league’s best performer forming the best defensive pair with Akpene. The duo played a major role in the Exchequers winning the league trophy. Very tactical and disciplined, Osmanu will be a plus as he always has for the bankers in Africa.