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Opinions of Thursday, 23 February 2017

Columnist: Shiekh Tophic Sienu

GFA must think quick and act fast in appointing next Black Stars coach

The dust seems to have settled following the semifinal appearance of the Black Stars at the just-ended AFCON in Gabon, a feat many have criticized the team for.
The performance of the team at the event has compelled many Ghanaians who have combined hatred with passion to call for the head of the GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, a call I consider unnecessary.

While many are concentrating on either Kwesi must go or stay, I choose to look at what next for the Black Stars with their technical direction.

The team is without a coach now following the departure of Avram Grant with the FA mandating assistant coach Maxwell Konadu to take up the mantle in an acting capacity.

Based on sports logic and the psychological make-up of the game, it is prudent that the GFA thinks fast and act quick in the appointment of the new coach for the Black Stars.

Next month, there will be FIFA designated days for international friendly matches and it will be overly intelligent for the FA to appoint the coach before these days to enable the new coach to adapt, adjust, acclimatize and gel well with Black Stars players.

The said coach, whether local or foreign must also have the opportunity to know the team culture, tradition, style of life and habits of the players to guide him in how to handle the team.

These things can only happen in friendly match situations where the coach can only experiment, try and test as rest some players who may be new to the team or to his style.

If we want to empower Maxwell Konadu to handle the job, let’s do it quick to give him the needed confidence to succeed. If we are employing a new coach, which has been the call of many pundits, then the time is now.

Let me remind Ghanaians and for that matter the GFA that the 2019 FCON qualifiers start this year with Ghana playing Ethiopia in June this year and play Burkina Faso in August in the CHAN qualifiers.

Ghana shall also play Congo in the third group game of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and play the return leg five days later in Congo.

The Black Stars will then play Uganda in Kampala in October and play the last group game with Egypt in November.

What this means is that, the federation need to quickly know the next way forward in the appointment of the new manager for him to start the preparation for these games as swiftly as possible.

Ghana’s hope of qualifying to the World Cup is slim but not off. The Black Stars can still qualify but only with pragmatic measures and prudent plans and the appointment of the new coach is very significant to the course.

Remember, if Ghana want to win the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon, it starts from today.

Always remember that proper preparations prevent poor performance.