Sports News of Friday, 21 April 2017
The countdown to the second coming of Coach Kwasi Appiah ends today as the new Black Stars trainer arrives from the UK to begin his two-year mandate.
The much-anticipated arrival of the highly respected coach was heralded by his visit to the UK to spend time with his family after an emotional send-off party by officials and supporters of his Sudanese club, Al Khartoum SC.
Before he finally settles down to work on Monday, May 1, Appiah has two main tasks to perform — to append his signature to a two-year contract with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and also pick his technical team for the task ahead.
The climax of it all will be the flamboyant unveiling and media encounter with the man who made history in 2013 as the first Ghanaian ever to qualify the Black Stars to the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.
However, one question which remains unanswered barely two weeks after the historic appointment is who would comprise the new technical staff for Coach Appiah.
While confirming his arrival to the Graphic Sports, the ‘Silent Killer’, as the Stars coach is affectionately called, was tight-lipped on who would comprise his assistants, despite widespread media speculations on the issue.
Even before his appointment, rumours were rife that Appiah would retain his former assistant Maxwell Konadu and consider former Cameroun assistant coach, Ibrahim Tanko, as another assistant, while opting for former Black Stars internationals, Stephen Appiah and Richard Kingson as the Team Manager and Goalkeepers’ Trainer, respectively.
However, none of these names has yet been confirmed by Coach Appiah or the GFA. When the Graphic Sports contacted Tanko, for instance, he disclosed that he was yet to be contacted by anybody on the issue but rather preferred to wait for Coach Appiah’s arrival.
While the speculations continued, George Afriyie, the GFA Vice President and Head of the Black Stars Management Committee, told this paper yesterday that the GFA was also waiting to hear from the new Stars coach due to the sensitive nature of the issue.
Mr Afriyie said though the GFA was the appointing authority, it deemed it appropriate to hear the coach’s view on the subject as the new man in charge of the Black Stars.
According to him the GFA preferred a situation where a full technical team, comprising assistant coaches, a video analyst, physical instructor and other backroom, staff would be appointed to assist the coach this time round.
This, if done, will be a deviation from the past where substantive Stars coaches merely requested for some auxilliary staff as and when necessary, coupled with its attendant challenges.