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Afriyie Barnieh has proven himself worthy of a place in the Black Stars for Qatar 2022.

We have always advocated for the inclusion of more players in the local league to the Black Stars setup. We have seen very little participation from locally based players in the national team over the past few years. We have always preferred foreign-based players because of their level of experience and exposure. But does that mean they are better than the local players? That is not always true. The local players themselves have not done enough to merit national team call-ups. The betting scandal that rocked the Ghana Premier League hasn't also helped. But that narrative is changing.

The emergency of a few local players has given me hope that the future is indeed bright for our local boys. My focus will be on one particular player in this write-up. The emergence of Afriyie Barnieh has been a blessing to the local league. He has gradually worked his way up the ladder. He thoroughly deserves any opportunity he is getting now. He has been amazing for the phobians in their title-winning campaign. He was also very instrumental in Accra Hearts of Oak winning the MTN FA Cup consecutively for the last 2 years.

His performances for the Black Galaxies have been top-notch. He was very key in their defeat of Benin to set up a final eliminator against Nigeria for a spot at the CHAN championship next year. The Black Galaxies engaged world cup host Qatar in a friendly game yesterday. Even though Ghana lost 2-1, Barnieh left his mark on the game. He was the one who scored the only goal for Ghana via a deflection. His stock is continually rising and I don't see it stopping anytime soon.

He has done virtually all he has to do to be on the plane to Qatar with the Black Stars. His absence from the final squad will be a great injustice to the hard work some of these local boys put in every day. He deserves to be in Qatar. He doesn't need to do anything else again. He should keep putting in the hard work. He should keep his head above the waters and he will be rewarded in due time.

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Accra Hearts of Oak Afriyie Barnieh Ghana Premier League

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