This time last year Fred Pappoe, Vice President of the Ghanaian Football Association (middle of picture) declared in the wake of Ghana's 2-0 victory over Togo in Brentford that "London is one of our favourite places away from home." One year on and they're making good on his words as they play another friendly here on Tuesday night, 21st August at 7:45pm against Senegal at Millwall's New Den stadium.
Talismanic captain Stephen Appiah (pictured right) sadly picked up a bad injury on the opening day of the Turkish season and hasn't played since, but will still be in attendance, taking his captain's duties very seriously, according to the All Sports newspaper:
"It’s all about the friendship and unity in the squad. There are also young players who have been invited to camp and he wants to be there to welcome them. So he will not pass up that opportunity to see his teammates."
His devotion makes perfect sense when you realise that this game is part of the final run-up to Ghana's hosting of the prestigious African Nations Cup in January, as does his country's decision to keep playing here when you consider that they followed up the Togo victory with a 4-1 defeat of Nigeria, though both matches were played in Brentford rather than down by the docks. Senegal's Teranga Lions, currently leading their qualifying group for next year's tournament, have also faced Ghana at Brentford, earning a goalless draw back in 2005. They will hope the change in immediate surroundings will work to their advantage. Ghana's Black Stars in their turn will be hoping for a change in recent fortunes as they've not won since that February downing of the Super Eagles and have consequently dropped 18 places in FIFA's league table of nations.
Chelsea's Michael Essien can expect to shoulder more of the midfield burden for Ghana in his captain's absence and West Ham's John Paintsil may get an outing at right back, unlike at Upton Park where he hasn't featured in the first team since January. English supporters might also recognise Portsmouth's new recruit Sulley Ali Muntari, Birmingham goalkeeper Richard Kingson and former Barnet and QPR striker Junior Agogo, who is now at Nottingham Forest. Students of future stardom might keep their eyes on Internazionale of Milan's Mario Barwuah Balotelli and Marseille midfielder Andre 'Dede' Ayew, son of Ghana legend Abedi 'Pele'.
At the time of writing Senegal's squad is not known, but could feature Fulham's Papa Bouba Diop and Diomansy Kamara as well as Charlton Athletic midfielder Amdy Faye and hos former team-mate, defender Souleymane Diawara, who recently left the relegated club for Bordeaux. Other Premiership players past and present who may feature include Henri Camara, El Hadji Diouf, Ferdinand Coly, Abdoulaye Faye, Salif Diao, Aliou Cisse and Lamine Sakho.