FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017

20 May – 11 June

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009

Osei reveals golden agenda

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Two years and one month have elapsed since Ransford Osei's last interview with In those 25 months a lot has happened in the life of the Ghanaian teenager. Back on 4 September 2007, he was preparing for a semi-final match against Spain in the semi-final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but it was a game which didn't exactly go to plan for the Black Starlets.

"We were unlucky because it was 1-1 until the last four minutes of extra time," he recalled. "Bojan scored a very intelligent goal and, given the time, it was impossible for us to come back. It's still painful when I think about it, but the memories of that have made me stronger."

Osei's six goals at Korea 2007 went a long way in helping him win a senior international debut in a friendly against Togo. It also attracted the attention of Maccabi Haifa, who signed him initially on loan, before they awarded him a three-year contract. However, the youngster failed to settle and he now finds himself on loan at FC Twente.

"I found it tough in Israel," admitted Osei. "I was only 17 when I went there and I found the culture very different to what I'd experienced in Ghana. I didn't enjoy the food, I didn't have any friends or family around me and the style that Haifa played did not suit my game at all.

"Things are much easier in the Netherlands, I feel more comfortable there. The facilities are much better, the culture far easier to adapt to and the league is of a higher standard. Steve McClaren is my coach and he's very good with me. I think he's going to help make me a better player."

At this level you've got some of the world's best young defenders and goalkeepers giving their all to stop you. So, that's why scoring makes me so happy.

Since the FIFA U-17 World Cup, there has been one major constant and one big change for the 'fox in the box.' Up front, Osei has a new strike partner in Dominic Adiyiah, who replaces Sadick Adams, scorer of four goals in Korea. But coach Sellas Tetteh has remained, much to the delight of the in-form frontman.

"He's a good coach and very caring," said the striker. "Besides being a coach, he's like a father to us. He's a very good man and never stops encouraging us. In a match when things aren't going our way, he never stops supporting us. The confidence he gives you really helps.

"In terms of Dominic and Sadick, there's not much of a difference. Sadick is a very good player, a very good partner and we combined well in Korea, but it hasn't been that different with Dominic. In the little time that we had playing together, the understanding is there. That's great."

Adiyiah and Osei have contributed three goals each for the Black Satellites, who face South Africa in a Round of 16 encounter on Ismailia on Tuesday afternoon. Yet Osei is desperate to overtake his partner in the scoring stakes, but only if it means that Ghana lift the trophy on 16 October.

"That's my agenda," he smiled. "My first hope is to help my country win the tournament and, on a personal level, I'm hoping to win the Golden Boot as well. It's going well so far, I just hope it continues.

"It will be a very difficult game against South Africa. They have a very good team and although we beat them in the African qualifiers, we found it tough. They know us and we know them, but we're confident. I'm also confident that I'm going to get chances - by God's will, I'm going to take them and the ball will end up in the back of the net.

"But scoring is not an easy thing to do. At this level you've got some of the world's best young defenders and goalkeepers giving their all to stop you. So, that's why scoring makes me so happy."

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