Otto Addo--Black Stars coach
Otto Addo--Black Stars coach

Augustine Ahinful: Local players not ripe for Stars

Augustine Ahinful, a former striker for the Black Stars, has expressed reservations about calls to exclusively build Ghana's senior national team around local-based players. 


Ahinful, who earned 19 caps for the Black Stars during his playing career, believes that while local talents should be considered, they might not be equipped to carry the team on their own on the international stage.

Ahinful's comments come amidst growing debate about the composition of the Black Stars and the role of domestic players in the squad. 

However, in an exclusive interview with Graphic Sports, the 49-year-old cautioned against dismissing the contributions of foreign-based players, citing their experience and exposure to higher levels of competition as crucial factors in the team's success.

Selecting the best
''So, the local players, yes, we can look at the best ones and select them into the national team, but we can't say that we should use the local players alone to play the national team,” he stated.

The former striker highlighted the disappointing performance of the local Black Stars during the recent Championship of Africa Nations (CHAN) tournament in Algeria as a case in point. 

Ghana failed to advance past the group stage, prompting Ahinful to question the readiness of local players to compete at the highest level without the support of their more experienced counterparts.

''Somewhere last year there was this CHAN competition in Algeria and our local Black Stars were there and we didn't even qualify from the group stage. We saw how the players performed and now are we saying the same players should come and play at the AFCON?” he queried.

While Ahinful acknowledged the importance of integrating talented local players into the national team setup, he stressed the need for a balanced approach. He suggested that a few local players could be given the opportunity to gain experience with the Black Stars but cautioned against relying solely on them to deliver results in major tournaments.

''I'm not saying some of them dont deserve to be in the team. I'm saying that some of the players should be in the national team to gain experience in order to build themselves into the team proper, but we cannot invite the Black Stars and say we are using only the local players'', he noted.

Ahinful drew parallels with past generations of the Black Stars, where a majority of the squad was composed of locally based players. However, he noted that the landscape of football had changed since then, with more players plying their trade abroad.

He emphasised the maturity and experience of past local players, contrasting them with the current crop who, he believed, might not be as prepared for the demands of international competition.

''Gone were the days when players were very mature. Those days all the backline players of the national team were all locally-based. When I started following the national team almost 80 per cent were local based because the professional football outside of Ghana was not really common,'' he said.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...