'My exclusion from AFCON squad toughened me' - Raphael Dwamena
Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena declared that his failure to make the Black Stars final squad to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations toughened him up.
The 21-year-old poacher earned his debut call-up to the Black Stars in the provisional 26-man squad to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon under former coach Avram Grant, but was dropped from the final 23 to the dismay of Ghanaian football populace.
However, the FC Zurich striker earned a return to the Black Stars for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Walias of Ethiopia as well as the double-header international friendlies against Mexico and USA following his remarkable debut season in the Swiss second-tier league.
The sharp-shooter immediately announced his qualities to coach Kwesi Appiah when he scored twice in the team’s 6-1 win against Asokwa Deportivo in a preparatory game ahead of the much-anticipated encounter against the Walias.
When asked by reporters how he coped with his exclusion from the final squad to the AFCON tournament, Dwamena answered, “I just thank God for giving me this opportunity once again. I’m not disappointed that it happened to me because I know it part of football.”
“I was even happy when I was dropped because I gained a lot of experience from the players, it was great experience for me the first time. That chapter is over, now we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us and we just have to focus.”
Dwamena plundered in 13 goals for FC Zurich in the Swiss Division Two to help the side win promotion to the top flight league.