Antoine Semenyo and ex-Bristol City goalkeeper to link up with Ghana for AFCON Qualifiers

Exclusive: Robins striker will finally join up with his national team this week after injury struck back in March.

<p>Antoine Semenyo of Bristol City.</p>

Antoine Semenyo of Bristol City.

Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo will finally link up with the Ghana national team later this week as the Robins forward joins coach Otto Addo’s side preparing to play their first summer fixtures.

It’s sure to be an exciting time for the former SGS College Filton forward as the Black Stars have now qualified for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, with competition for places to be in the tournament 23-man squad up for grabs.

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BristolWorld understands that Semenyo and ex-Bristol City goalkeeper Joe Wollacott will both be in the upcoming Ghana squad, and that the pair fly out to Africa on Friday.

Ghana have two matches in AFCON 2023 Qualifying first: against against Madagascar on Wednesday, 1 June and Central African Republic on Sunday, 5 June, to be played away.

Following that, there are two friendly games to be played, and Semenyo will hope to gain some game time in the four matches to make his mark on the Black Stars.

A friendly in Japan has been arranged for Friday, 10 June, being played in Kobe, as well as a fixture against whichever side comes out victorious between Tunisia and Chile four days later, as part of a four-team tournament.

Semenyo was originally due to take part in the squad to face Nigeria at the end of March, in the two-legged World Cup qualifiers, but an ill-timed knee injury stopped the livewire forward from joining up.

The Black Stars have kept informed on Semenyo however, and the 22-year-old was watched by Ghana technical advisor Chris Hughton when Bristol City played Hull City in the final home game of the season.

No doubt the onlookers have been impressed, as the West Country striker has revelled in being played centrally by manager Nigel Pearson, with eight Championship goals plundered and a further 12 assists registered in the last campaign, from just 24 starts.

Semenyo will be joined in the squad by former Bristol City goalkeeper Joe Wollacott who has established himself as Ghana’s no.1 following playing the full 180 minutes as Nigeria were overcome to make the World Cup. Wollacott will hope to add to his nine caps.

“He has aspirations to play in the Premier League and international football. He’s achieved selection to the Ghanaian national squad, which is a fantastic thing for him and his family,” explained manager Nigel Pearson recently, referencing the March call-up.

Meanwhile, Bristol City midfielder Han-Noah Massengo has reportedly received an offer to play internationally for Congo ahead of next month’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Massengo played for France at Under-17 and Under-18 level, but reports in Africa say that the Robins man will be included in Paul Put’s squad when it’s announced later this week. However, Bristol Live say that the reports are incorrect, and the player will not join Congo.

Massengo has just one year left on his contract and the 20-year-old may be allowed to leave Ashton Gate this summer if the contract offer made to the central midfielder is not taken up in the next months.