Don't rush Satellites players, warns GFA coaching boss

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh

The Director of Coaching Education at the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Prof. Joseph Kwame Mintah, has called on national team coaches to maintain the succession plan of players in order to help deliver laurels for the country.

Prof. Mintah told the Graphic Sports that the current crop of players of the Black Satellites who won the just-ended U-20 Africa Cup of Nations must be graduated to the national Olympic team, the Black Meteors, to continue their progression into the senior national team, the Black Stars.

The Satellites won Ghana’s fourth continental trophy in a 2-0 win over Uganda at the Stade Olympique de Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Since the team’s triumph on March 6, there have been calls by the public for some of the team's outstanding players to be promoted to the Black Stars, with the GFA vice-president, Mark Addo, hinting of a possible promotion of some player into Coach Charles Akonnor's team which is currently preparing for Ghana's 2022 AFCON double header qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome later this month.

“I am glad that we stuck to the plan to have a succession plan in our national teams and it is working. Some of us have been calling for this since the Normalisation Committee was in place and it has proved to be the best decision going forward,” Prof. Mintah told the Graphic Sports after leading Premier League coaches to review the first round of the competition.

“Looking at these current [Satellites] players, Coach Karim Zito picked them for an under-17 tournament but he was unsuccessful. He graduated them to the under-20 team and everyone saw what he has achieved,” he stated.

Players such as Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, who was named Player of the Tournament; skipper Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Samuel Quaye, Percious Boah, Nathaniel Adjei and Frank Assinki have been tipped to get a chance in the senior national team following stellar performances at the tournament.

Prof. Mintah, a former head coach of Ebusua Dwarfs, said the state could only benefit from these players if subsequent coaches maintained them rather than opting for new faces in subsequent tournaments.

“I want to call on the next coach to take over these players at either the Black Meteors or the Black Stars stage to maintain them for the future and that is what is needed to achieve more for Ghana,” he advised.