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Chance for youngsters to shine for Black Stars

Richmond-Boakye Yaidom is one of the promising prospects in Ghana's AFCON squad

The Black Stars go into the tournament without household names like Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew, Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien but the former Charlton Athletic striker Shaun Bartlett sees this as a chance for the youngsters to shine.

“More and more star players are not even coming to the Afcon, so the event is becoming more and more about discovering rough diamonds,” said Bartlett, who won the tournament with Bafana Bafana in 1996.

“This could mean that Ghana’s defence could see a John Boye or Isaac Vorsah come off really well and make a big name for themselves.

“Even with Michael Essien not there I think they have enough players that can fill the void.

“I think the experience of Kwadwo Asamoah having moved to Juventus since the previous Nations Cup means we could expect more from him in attacking midfield.”

While Bartlett is looking forward to seeing Africa Cup of Nations debutants like Wakasu Mubarak and Christian Atsu in action, he has also challenged experienced players like John Paintsil and Asamoah Gyan to have a big impact on the tournament.

“I just hope that the ‘big name’ players come to South Africa and perform here because we have seen recently that the so called big stars do not always play to their ability,” he concluded.

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