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Interviews

Yiadom on AFCON challenge with Ghana

Defender looks ahead to international tournament

24 June 2019

While the Royals are preparing to get back to pre-season training, one is still away on international duty with his country.

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Andy Yiadom is currently with the Ghana squad as he gears up to tackle the Africa Cup of Nations this summer, in his second time at the biennial tournament.

The pressure is on the Black Stars to perform in Egypt this summer, having been installed as one of the pre-tournament favourites for the title - with the Ghanaians making it to the Semi-Finals or further in each of the last six iterations of AFCON.

The Royals full-back played 90 minutes in a pre-tournament friendly against South Africa last week, and has been keeping himself in peak condition on Ghana's training camp in Dubai ahead of the tournament.

On South Africa and the challenges of the tournament, he said: “It was a good game, I can’t remember the last time I played 90 minutes in this kind of heat, but it was a tough test, we’re preparing to play in this type of weather in Egypt.

“We’re training at 5.30pm but the sun is still out, it’s still hot but we’ll have to get used to it and we’re working hard to get ready for the group.

“I had a week off, but I kept on top of my fitness, I didn’t want to let my standards slip and be behind when we started training for the tournament.

“It was a good season on a personal level at Reading, we managed to stay up which was the most important thing, and to get to play at AFCON is great too.

“When I was at Barnet three years ago, I was just looking to play well and hopefully get a move, but I didn’t think anything like this would be happening so soon. But it’s not over, I’m still looking to improve and contribute for Ghana.

“It’s a really tough group, in AFCON you can’t take anything for granted, there’s no easy game in this tournament.

“With Cameroon especially, they won it last year and they’ve got a really good squad this time.

“We’ve got a really good squad too, with players who are doing it in leagues all across Europe and playing well.

“People are expecting us to do well, and we want to do the best we can in the tournament. It’s a great experience for me and I’ll want to do my best before coming back to Reading.”

First up for Yiadom and Black Stars will be a test against Benin on Tuesday, before facing reigning champions, Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau in the group stages.

We'll be keeping track of Andy's progress while he's at the tournament, and we wish him the very best of luck in the Africa Cup of Nations this summer.


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