Sports News of Saturday, 3 May 2014
Ghana head coach Kwesi Appiah has praised the quality in the Ghana Premier League and has promised to give equal opportunities to local players to challenge for a place in the Black Stars squad.
There have been calls by football fans and administrators alike in recent times for the Stars trainers to give more local based players the chance.
"I always believe that we've got very good players locally, when we were going to the African Cup of Nations, I took about ten players and immediately after the tournament [a] whole of them went out to become professionals," Appiah told allsports.com.gh.
"At the moment, there are still some local players that I'm looking at but it's difficult sometimes when the player has not been invited before. Most of the time, when you are invited and you mix up with the seniors, your confidence level rises."
"Playing at the bigger stage, they are able to compete. When they come initially, there's [some] kind of jittery a [little] bit and I always say that it's always good to give them [a] chance and hopefully I believe many of them can be of help in the future."
Appiah, who recently received good news that three of his key players - Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien and Abdul-Majeed Waris have all recovered from injuries with ample time to prepare for the World Cup - says he is keeping a close eye on his players and is impressed with the turn up and return to fitness of some senior players.
"Ever since the draw was made, we are keeping an eye on all our players. We actually had some few injuries and we thank God all of them have started playing again for their various clubs," he added.
"I think it's a plus and that will help us to focus on the players and the team as a whole. On the other side, if they start getting injuries, it becomes a problem to turn to a different player. We thank God that all those who got injured are now back training."
Appiah is as studious as one can be. He assisted ex-Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac to the quarterfinals in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and now the onus is on the 53-year-old to better at the Mundial in Brazil.
"We learnt a lot of lessons and that has helped us during our preparations up till now. We are sending Maxwell Konadu and one other FA official to look at where we'll be training and lodging."
"Apart from that, there are some analysis that we've done that I have sent to all the players to have a look at how our opponents operate."
"These are some of the things that I've learnt and you allow the players to upgrade themselves to know what they will face out there.
"Recently, I travelled to visit them. I didn't go out there to monitor their performances but to psyche them up from day one. I told them what I expect from them, what Ghanaians expect from them and the programmes ahead of them so that they'll know what is ahead of them."
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