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Sports News of Monday, 16 December 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Otto Addo to join Kwasi Appiah’s bench

Onetime Black Stars attacking midfielder Otto Addo could stage a return to the national team for next year’s FIFA World Cup but not on the playing field but in an advisory capacity in the technical team in the run up to the tournament and during the competition in Brazil.

Addo, who featured prominently alongside players like Michael Essien, Richard Kingson, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan in Ghana’s 2-0 win over the Czech Republic and 2-0 victory over USA at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is in contact with Black Stars coach Kwasi Appiah on the possibility of tapping into his vast wealth of knowledge and experience in German football to help the Ghana trainer to plan how to deal with Germany when the two countries clash in a Group G match in Fortaleza.

GFA Communications Director, Ibrahim Sannie Daara, disclosed to the Graphic Sports that Appiah has held preliminary talks with the former Ghana international, who spent his entire playing career in Germany and is currently assistant coach of Bundesliga side, HSV Hamburg.

“I can confirm that coach Kwasi Appiah and Otto Addo had talks recently about the possibility of assisting him for the World Cup but the exact nature of the assistance will be confirmed if Otto Addo is available,” said Daara.

“At this point nothing has been firmed up yet and for the GFA we are aware Addo is under contract, so we want him to discuss it with his employers first for approval and release before we proceed to firm up the deal and decide which areas he would assist the team.”

For the FA spokesman, the move to tap into the former national star’s the deep insight into German football was first initiated by coach appiah, who has also requested to be sent on attachment to some European clubs to share ideas with his compatriots as part of a general career development and preparation for the World Cup.

A creative and versatile player in his heyday, Germany-born Addo made 15 appearances for Ghana between 1999 and 2006 and won the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund in 2002 in a career plagued by injuries. He also featured for such German top flight ides as Hannover 96, FSV Mainz 05 (2005–2007) and Hamburg 2(007-2008).

A UEFA licensed coach, Addo was in charge of the under-19 side of Hamburg where he oversees the grooming of talents for the senior side. On September 17 this year, the 38-year-old Ghanaian was handed temporal responsibility of the Bundesliga side following the dismissal of Thorsten Fink.

Early in the year the Hamburg youth team coach visited the Black Stars at their Abu Dhabi training base where Appiah and his assistants were preparing the team for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa.

At the 2006 World Cup, the GFA tapped into the American knowledge and experience of US-trained coach, Robert Sackey, then a coach of Robert Morris College, who served as a scout of national coach Ratomir Dujkovic by providing the Serbian with useful insights and information on the US team which helped Ghana to defeat the Americans 2-1 in a group clash.

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