Head Coach of Ghana U-17 team (Black Starlets), Samuel Fabin tells Cafonline.com that his team has not qualified for the 2013 Africa U-17 Championship despite carrying a 3-2 lead into this weekend's second leg against South Africa.
He insists there is much to play for in the return encounter and they are bracing up for the final test against the Amajimbos.
How are preparing for your second leg against South Africa?
We are going about our normal preparations and doing nothing special. It is the same training regime we underwent towards the first leg.
What did the trick for you in the first leg in Soweto two weeks ago?
We were well prepared and the players were also psyched up for the game. Our tactics also work well leading to victory.
With the 3-2 win, can you say you have already qualified for the African Championships in Morocco next year?
We are not there yet. Football is full of uncertainties and we need to tighten up for the second leg. Also, we must play a better game. We are playing at home and expectations are high of us, so we have to deliver.
What are your observations of the South African team?
They have a very good team and have good passers of the ball. They are technically disciplined and we expect a tough test from them. With that, we are preparing seriously to seal our qualification for the African Championship.
Are you under some form of pressure playing at home?
We are under no pressure. The players have been psyched in that regard and are aware of what is at stake.
What does this game mean to you since Ghana has failed to qualify for the last two editions of the continental championship?
It means as a whole lot because we (technical team) were tasked with qualifying for the African Championships as the team had failed in recent past. We are on course and we are looking forward to qualifying for the World Cup as well.
What has been the driving force of your team?
For my players, the will to make a name has been the driving force. They want to go far in their career. The Black Starlets has served a stepping stone for many players in the past and they want to follow suit.