Celebrating Kwasi Appiah, the new Black Stars coach
While Kennedy Agyapong’s alleged treason and genocide charges have taken the centre stage of Ghanaian politics in the week, the news most Ghanaians wanted to hear was consigned to the background.
The appointment of Kwasi Appiah, one-time captain of the Black Stars and until his elevation last week, deputy Coach of the national soccer team, the Black Stars, is a monumental development in this nation’s quest to be classified among the best footballing nations on earth.
The appointment of one of our own to take charge of the football revolution ought to be welcomed by all and sundry, who have the game at heart. The Chronicle is pleased with the decision announced by the Football Association President at the outdooring of the new coach, that the association would offer the new coach maximum support, and accord him all the courtesies usually reserved for foreign trainers, represents a paradigm shift in the appreciation of the men who take charge of the technical build-up of our national team.
The craze for foreign coaches has been expensive and unreliable. Invariably, as soon as the team begins to build up into a true international side, the foreign coaches were offered fat salaries elsewhere by those who have the means. Without a bond of nationalism, these coaches usually run fast and abandon the team to its fate.
We are happy that after a long time of wandering for foreigners to determine who wears the national jersey, we now have one of our own directing the technical build up of the Black Stars. We are happy for the young lad on whose broad shoulders the responsibility of carrying the sentiments of Ghanaians into the international soccer arena rests.
Kwasi Appiah fits the bill. Let us support him to deliver the goods. At the end of the day, when the Black Stars play well in the international arena, tension in society reduces considerably. Football is about the only sentiment all shades of opinion in this country share. We hope and believe that the authorities would not put any unnecessary burdens on the new coach.
The Chronicle does not buy the idea that the new coach has a duty to deliver the African Cup of Nations next year, and lead the Black Stars to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. These two are unrealistic targets.
The Chronicle would toast to the success of Ghana soccer if these two milestones are arrived at. Realists that we are, we do not believe in putting unnecessary pressure on the new coach.
We have to support Kwasi Appiah to do his best. We do not believe though, that giving him these two targets is realistic. Let him build a winsome side that would make Ghanaians proud in the international arena.
Eventually, both targets could be met. But, asking him to begin the assignment of taking charge of the team with the tall order of winning the Africa Cup, and reaching the best four in the world, is over ambitious.
It immediately puts pressure on him, even before Kwasi Appiah calls the first person into the national team. Rather, we would recommend to the Ghana Football Association to make it possible for the new coach to name the best that the nation could offer. And that includes invitations to Kelvin Prince Boateng and Baby Jet Asamoah Gyan.
If we succeed in getting the best Ghanaian players on parade, we are capable of rubbing shoulders with the best the world can offer.
In the interim, this column salutes Kwasi Appiah on his appointment, and hopes that his appointment would send a message to all Ghanaian clubs that it does not pay to bring in expatriates who may not necessarily be committed to the cause of the club, and who may prove in the long run to be very expensive.
The experience of Asante Kotoko, who are on orders to cough up 99,000 Euros at a time the club’s finances are in the red, should be a reference point.
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