Aduana Stars aiming to restore Ghanaian pride

Diomande Hamed Herve of ASEC Abidjan, Anorkye Badu Stephen of Aduana Stars Backpage pix

Aduana Stars are hoping to re-ignite their CAF Confederation Cup campaign and buck a recent trend of Ghanaian failure in continental club competitions when they face Raja Casablanca on Wednesday.

The Ghana champions host the Moroccan heavyweights at the Agyemang Badu Stadium on Wednesday in their second Group A match, having been defeated by ASEC Mimosas two weeks ago.

"It would be a disaster if we fail to win at home," Stars coach Yussif Abubakar told KweséESPN. "It would put too much pressure on us.

"We are playing as Aduana Stars but we are representing Ghana in the competition," he added. "Whether we do well or not it will be in the name of Ghana.

"We have suffered in Africa for some time and this is a perfect opportunity to make things happen again."

Ghana's standing within CAF's club rankings continues to diminish with each passing year, and the country's teams have diminished since the highs of the last decade.

In 2002, Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak contested the final of the Confederation Cup, but Ghanaian sides have consistently failed to make the group stage of both continental competitions in recent years.

Stars Goalkeeper and captain Joseph Addo says the desire to change that narrative will be part of Aduana's motivation against Raja on Wednesday.

"Previously, we used to hear and watch Ghanaian teams, especially Hearts of Oak and Kotoko, play and do well in Africa every year," he told KweséESPN, "but that changed for some time.

"It got to a time that making the group stage became very difficult for clubs," he added. "Fortunately, we are here and have the chance to restore that, so we are going to do our best to ensure we make Ghana proud in this year's championship."

In order to progress from the group, coach Abubakar believes Stars must be clinical upfront, but is adamant that they must make the most of their home advantage.

"We have to be unbeatable at home and that is why I am happy we have been given the go ahead to play in Dormaa," Abubakar said. "We know the venue well, and if there is anything we learnt from last season, it is that [the supporters] can aid us with their backing."

Goalkeeper Addo reckons the experience picked up from last season will benefit the team in another way as well.

"There were a lot of players new to the experience [last term], but this season that's not the case," he concluded. "We saw in our game away at ASEC that we have improved.

"We just need to back that and make ourselves unbeatable at home."