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THROWBACK: We did not pray for God’s intervention during 1995 African U-17 Championship- Christian Atta Gyan

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A member of the inaugural CAF Africa youth Championship winning team, Christian Atta Gyan has revealed that the entire squad of the 1995 CAF youth football gold winning team were very optimistic of clinching gold at the tournament in Mali hence the need to allow the Almighty God to have His peace in the Heavens.

According to the former Black Stars 2002 AFCON dependable defender, the starlets as a group were high spirited and confident of beating all the teams in the tournament and were very sure of making to the FIFA World Cup so all every prayer they prayed was directed towards the winning the world cup because they were motivated to project the name of Ghana to the highest height.

“If you ask any member of the squad at the time how the approach was to the African Championship, they will tell you that the Africa tournament was not a priority we knew we will win because we had a better squad on the continent even Nigeria could not stand us in fact we did not pray for winning that tournament all,” he said exclusively to Ghana’s leading and only 24 hour sports Channel GTV sports+.

The 1995 African U-17 Championship was the first U-17 football competition organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The tournament took place in Mali.

About the player

Born in Tema on November 2, 1978, the Ghanaian former footballer with Dutch nationality who played as a defender for the Starlets team started his career at GHAPOHA Readers and came to Feyenoord together with Patrick Allotey in 1996 after a successful World Cup under 17 – 1995. He was first loaned to Excelsior. After half a year, Leo Beenhakker brought him back to Feyenoord and he became a permanent reserve. He also regularly suffered injuries. At Feyenoord, he won a national championship, a Johan Cruijff Scale and a UEFA Cup. Gyan also played a role in the FIOD affair at Feyenoord. In the summer of 2007, his contract with Feyenoord expired. In his last season, he was again rented to Excelsior.

He was unsuccessfully on trial with Helsingborgs IF and Sandefjord Fotball, among others. In June 2008, he joined TPS Turku in Finland. On January 14, 2009, he moved to Wrexham AFC for which he only played twice in the FA Trophy tournament. His contract was not renewed in the summer of 2009. Returned to Finland in early 2010 with RoPS Rovaniemi. Due to an injury in February, he did not play for RoPS and his contract was soon terminated. From the summer of 2010, he played for the Rotterdam amateur club RKSV Leonidas in the big league A on Sunday.

Gyan won the Ghana national football team to the World Cup UNDER 17-1995. He also participated in the World Cup UNDER 20 – 1997 and the African Football Championship 2000.

After his career, Gyan, who in the meantime acquired Dutch nationality, ran into financial difficulties, partly because he gave away much of his money. Via a sponsor of Feyenoord, he worked in the port of Rotterdam since 2011, but because he suffered from epilepsy, he had to stop. In order to alleviate his financial concerns, a group of supporters launched a fundraising campaign.

UEFA Cup 2002 with Feyernoord.

For more on the Starlets 1995 squad and all the revelations, make a Date with GTV Sports+ every Sunday at 2 p.m. on ‘TIME WITH THE CAPTAINS’ show.

Story filed by Jacob Narh Nortah.

Twitter @NarhNortah

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