Awal called up for Ghana

2012-11-07 00:00

MARITZBURG United appears to be turning into an international feeding ground after the news emerged yesterday that the club’s centre back Mohamed Awal has been called up to the Ghanaian senior squad for a friendly against Cape Verde in Lisbon on November 13.

Awal joins midfielder Delron Buckley (South Africa) and striker Cuthbert Malajila (Zimbabwe) on the list of United stars who are now featuring for their respective countries.

Buckley was on Monday called up by Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund for the Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Zambia at Soccer City on November 14.

The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Awal, whose careless pass against SuperSport United on Friday night contributed massively to his side’s elimination from the Telkom Knockout Cup. But, that moment of madness aside, it has been a fantastic start to the debut PSL season of a former Ghanaian Premier League’s defender of the year.

His strength, aerial ability and pace have made him an integral part of United coach Ernst Middendorp’s set-up, and yesterday he expressed his delight at achieving what is the aim of every professional footballer — representing their country.

“I am very happy to have made my national team it has been a dream of mine ever since I started playing,” Awal told The Witness yesterday.

The 24-year-old said he considered his move to United at the start of the season to have been instrumental in his international call-up.

“I think being in Maritzburg has definitely helped,” he said.

“The people here have treated me really well and I have improved a lot since I have been here.”

While he may still be in celebratory mode, Awal will have to get his head screwed on ahead of tonight’s PSL clash with Bloemfontein Celtic at Harry Gwala stadium.

United will be up against Bloem Celtic, a side that fought back from two goals down to knock Orlando Pirates out of the Telkom Knockout over the weekend, and Awal knows that it will be a difficult encounter.

“We need to bounce back from our loss and do whatever we can to win,” he said.

United have a clean bill of health for the match, with the exception of right back Peter Petersen, who is an injury concern following a bruised hip he picked up against SuperSport.

But if ever there was any doubt before, the United squad can now rest assured that international football is a very real option for those who perform well enough.

With the Africa Cup of Nations 2012 just around the corner, this is a crucial time for those looking to impress their national coaches.

“I pray that I can be a part of that,” added Awal.

“It is in South Africa and South Africa is now my home, so it would be very special.”

Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will not be televised.

Maritzburg United’s Mohammed Awal has been called up to the Ghanaian senior squad ahead of their friendly against Cape Verde.

Photo: Gallo Images

psl: Team of Choice have clean bill of health ahead of Celtic clashAwal called up for Ghana

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