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By Mark Hemmings, Sports editor
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
DREAMS of playing for his country at the Africa Cup of Nations are set to come true for former Potters Bar Town footballer Sylvain Dossou.
Dossou is to represent West African nation Niger, while famous names such as Chelsea striker Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Manchester City’s Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), Barcelona’s Seydou Keita (Mali) and Newcastle United’s Demba Ba (Senegal) are all expected to feature.
Speaking exclusively to the Potters Bar Edition, the ex-Scholar said: “It feels so good to be called up by your nation to play in such a tournament.
“I’m truly overjoyed by the fact that I’m going to be competing against the likes of Drogba, Yaya Toure and Asamoah Gyan.”
A host of top countries such as Egypt, Nigeria and Cameroon failed to reach the finals, being held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, but Niger have qualified for the first time in their history.
“Our aim for the competition is just to progress as a first time qualified country and prove that it wasn’t just a fluke,” he added.
“Importantly we want to have a good tournament and learn more. Whatever happens after that will be a bonus.”
Niger have been drawn in Group C alongside Morocco, Tunisia and Gabon. Their first match is against Gabon on Monday.
Dossou is eager to put his talents to the test against some of the world’s top footballers.
“I can’t wait to play against QPR’s Adel Taarabt (Morocco) and hopefully if we get past the group stage we will come up against Ghana and players such as Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew,” he said.
Dossou, who played at The South Mimms Travel Stadium under both current Bar boss Adam Lee and his predecessor Steve Browne, has only just pushed his way into the senior national squad.
He was picked for Niger in their 1-1 friendly draw with Botswana in November and has kept his place in the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The international did not have the fondest of memories of his spell in Hertfordshire.
He added: “The only thing I really remember about my time at Potters Bar is that I broke my leg.
“We had some good players at the time such as Mustapha Dumbuya, Serge Makofo and Junior Dadson, I couldn’t understand how it wasn’t working on the field.”