Black Stars Head Coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor is challenging home-based players to be consistent to command regular place in the national team.
He said this during an interview with the Communications Department in an exclusive chat dubbed “Time with C.K Akonnor”.
Home-based players are often overlooked or given limited space in the Black Stars in recent years, unlike the past when they commanded regular playing time in the team.
Akonnor shared memories of how he made it into the national team then as a local-based footballer.
“When I started playing, the likes of Frimpong Manso, Emmanuel Armah ‘Senegal’, there were senior guys you know, ‘Mayanga’, Salifu Ansah the goalkeeper, we had majority of locals in the national team…I started playing in the national team as a local player before I traveled abroad.”
Akonnor concedes that much has changed since then. He understands that there is a difference between playing at home and plying a trade abroad but still thinks the home-based players have a chance.
“The locals, when you see them with the professionals (foreign-based players), there is a big gap. And that is up to them (to work on that).”
“Of course, once I see a player doing well, I will give him that chance. They should also believe that they are coming to play, not even to be on the bench. And that will show automatically in training.”
“These are the kind of things, they would have to do and it has to come from the individual. Yes, we’ve seen them, I’m not going to close my eyes on them, once they are doing well.”
The former Dreams FC, AshantiGold and Asante Kotoko Coach believes consistency has been the bane of players who ply their trades in the Ghanaian top flight.
“My research tells me in Ghana no player has been able to play three matches on the top. 3, 4 it’s a challenge [for them]. They should challenge me.
“First match on the high, second middle and third you drop, and fourth on the high, no!. They need to be consistent in their performance and they will automatically get in there.”