Coach Josef Emmanuel Sarpong has attributed the Black Galaxies’ painful exit from the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) to poor facilities in the country.
Speaking to Graphic Sports after the Black Galaxies’ 0-2 defeat to Niger in their CHAN quarter-final match last Saturday, Coach Sarpong said until those placed at responsible positions to manage football embarked on a strategic investment to improve sports facilities, Ghana would continue to perform abysmally at international tournaments.
According to the veteran coach, a conscious sports infrastructure development will transform the local league and also enable local players to match their peers in international tournaments.
Describing the performance of the Black Galaxies as abysmal and disappointing, Coach Sarpong noted, “We need to improve the structures of our local league, make it competitive for our home-based players to see the need to improve so their confidence level could be raised for international competitions.
“It was an awful performance with defensive lapses. The defence was disjointed and the midfield struggled to string their passes together.
For the attack, they were simply non-existent as there was not a single shot on target in the first half when they were down by a goal.
“The players didn’t play maturely when they were down. They panicked and seemed to be mentally off-balanced. In a bid to raise their game, they failed to swing passes together for the equaliser. This was because the midfield and attack didn’t click so they didn’t pose any threat to the Nigerien goal area,” he observed.
Coach Sarpong advised club owners to consciously focus on the importance of the league and pay local players well to motivate them to play better, thereby helping to promote the local league and make it attractive to football fans who used our sports arenas as recreational grounds during weekends.
Coach Sarpong also implored the Ghana Football Association (GHAN) to ensure that all footballers used their correct ages at both local and international levels.
This, he said, would help coaches to know the weaknesses and strengths of their players and also devise means of managing them during international tournaments for their own benefit and that of the nation.
“The ages of our players should also be looked at religiously and holistically. This is because coaches will know how and when to use such players since the performance of aged players tend to slow down movement and cohesion in teams.
“Invariably, if an over age teams are competing against relatively young teams, the difference is always clear. Speed, quickness, strength, agility, endurance and all key components of the game are easily complemented in game situations,” he explained.