Charles Kwablah Akonnor
Ghana coach, Charles Kwablah Akonnor, has expressed strong belief in his squad ahead of next year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for Cameroun.
He is as a result calling on the entire nation to remain positive ahead of the biennial competition which has eluded the Black Stars for close to 40 years; winning their last in 1982 when Libya hosted it.
Since then, Ghana has come close to annexing it; finishing as semi finalists on numerous occasions and playing in the finals on three occasions -1992 (Senegal), 2010 (Angola) and 2015 (Equatorial Guinea).
The draw for the Cameroun championship was conducted last Tuesday, housing Ghana in Group C alongside Comoros, Gabon and Morocco.
And to coach Akonnor, it will take a strong and a positive mentality to realise the dream which has eluded the country for many years, although he has admitted that it has by no means put pressure on him.
He said in a media briefing few days ago that, “I understand in the last few years we’ve tried and tried. We’ve come closer it’s not worked and so we’ve been negative when it comes to the national team and my message to all of you is to think positive.
“We’ve been dreaming about it, we want it and we’ll find a way to get it. At the moment it doesn’t look to all of you, but I believe in the squad and I believe this will happen. I want to involve all of you because when we win, it’s Ghana that has won.”
The former Black Stars captain added, “We don’t have any other group of players, the ones we have are the ones we’re using now. If you remember, the last few matches we’ve even maintained a certain crop of players and if there’s any other player that is doing good and playing well, we’ll bring him in.”
Akonnor, who formally coached Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko noted, “We believe that gradually, we’ll be able to find ourselves in a certain way. We’ll understand what we have to do at every given time. Ethics of work on the field of play, we do understand that and I think we’ve moved on from a certain position to a very positive one.”
Last week, Akonnor announced a 30-man squad for the World Cup qualifier scheduled for early September against Ethiopia and South Africa.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum