It remains factual that local players are often overlooked and given limited chance in the country’s national team. It is hard to think of a single player who has constantly been playing for Black Stars in recent years. A trend current manager Ck Akonnor wants to make a thing of the past, but that won’t come on a silver platter or without a fee.
Speaking to the GFA media team in an exclusive interview dubbed “Time with C.K Akonnor”. C.K Akonnor revealed why local players are given limited opportunity in the Black Stars.
Before the ultimate revelation, he first shared memories of his time with the Black Stars.
“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”.
C.K Akonnor went on to speak of the huge gap between foreign players and local players currently. He also talked of his willingness to give local players opportunities and how the gap between foreign and local player can be bridged.
“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.”
“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,” he added.
The former Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko manager also revealed his fondness for Kotoko’s defensive midfielder Justice Blay who was expected by many football fans to make the Black Stars squad for the African Cup qualifiers against Sudan. He missed out at the last minute
“Somebody like (Justice) Blay, he looks active, when he’s playing he looks hungry, I like people who are hungry and want to be successful, its not just one match, two matches” .
C.K Akonnor was due to make his Black Stars managerial debut in a African Cup of Nations double-header qualifiers against Sudan last month. The games were called off by CAF due to the coronavirus pandemic.