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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Columnist: sportscrusader.com

Are ‘local’ players unattractive to Grant?

Black Stars head coach, Avram Grant, recently named his 23-man squad to face Rwanda in their last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Rwanda.

The Black Stars are leading Group H with 13 points, having already booked a place to the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in January 2017 in Gabon and this has got me thinking; “why would Grant hand call-ups to the same group of players, instead of offering others the chance to prove themselves as worthy replacements in the near future.

The major European season has just gotten underway and, touch wood, should any of his [Grant’s] key players pick up an injury, who are the ready made replacement for these first team players?

The former Chelsea coach named just two players from the Ghana Premier League, namely; goalkeeper Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars) and defender Kadri Mohammed (AshantiGold).

Though Rwanda will be aiming for a win against host, Ghana, in a bid to improve their poor Fifa rankings, a Black Stars squad, made up of players who ply their trade in the domestic league, in my candid opinion, should have been assembled to represent the nation.

Frankly, Ghana has nothing to lose playing a Rwandan team headed by interim coach, Kanyankole Gilbert Yaounde with a ‘locally’ assembled side.

The country’s limited financial resources will not be over-stretched to cover the team’s huge budget. Notably, business class tickets for each foreign-based player, acoommodation, and other expenses that come with ‘importing’ the Black Stars’ first team will be avoided too.

An opportunity of this magnitude for a ‘local’ player, would also serve as a morale booster for the lads who would have a feel of the honour attached to donning the national colours I believe .

Now, the following might just set you thinking, just as it did me. The called-up players would be entitled to winning bonuses.

In the event a ‘locally assembled’ Black Stars squad, infused with few ‘foreign-based players post a win against the Rwandans, the winning bonuses they would each receive, would do a world of good to their personal and family finances, bearing in mind, the peanuts they receive as salaries from their respective GPL clubs.

I just want to think aloud; “What’s so unattractive -if any- about the local players?”

Is it that Grant sees them to be sub-standard or he just doesn’t want to tinker too much with his squad?

Again, I’m only wondering; “Is he that good a man manager as we were made to believe before his appointment or it’s mere overhype?”

To borrow Ghana’s Kumawood actor, Lil Win’s mantra, “I can’t think far” with Grant’s call-ups this time!

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