Sports News of 2014-03-27

Appiah’s trip very useful - Oti Akenten

The Ghana Football Association’s Technical Director, Mr Francis Oti Akenten, is confident James Kwasi Appiah’s 10-day tour of Liverpool would be immensely beneficial to the Black Stars technical handlers as they prepare the team for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

He believes that such idea-sharing by technical teams are of mutual benefit and the Liverpool team would similarly gain a lot of insights into African football as they engage Appiah and his backroom staff.

Last week, Coach Appiah and his technical team — Assistant Coach Maxwell Konadu, goalkeepers’ trainer Nasamu Yakubu, team doctor Adam Baba, and the team’s video analyst, Michael Okyere — travelled to Liverpool to meet their counterparts, the English Premiership giants, as part of Ghana’s preparation for the World Cup in June.

Late last year, Appiah and his assistant went on a similar tour to Manchester City, where they had fruitful interactions with the technical team. In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Coach Oti Akenten said it was very common for coaches with common purpose and aspirations to have frequent interactions and share ideas.

“Coach Appiah is on the right path because he was able to guide the Black Stars to qualify to participate in Brazil 2014. At Liverpool, he will take advantage of the facilities to observe, with the view to improving on his strategies and game plans,” noted the veteran coach.

He said just like Coach Appiah, the video analyst will also take advantage to confer with his counterpart at Liverpool to analyse their videos after each game and, thereby, gain insightful knowledge at the highest level on how to improve upon their games after each match played.

“He is just going to Liverpool to observe, but not to talk about our game plans and reveal our strength to the technical team in Liverpool. Kwasi is a level-headed person and knows what he is doing so we should support him to deliver,” he noted.

Debunking the notion that the technical team of the United States would be tracking the activities of Coach Appiah to know his weakness and devise means of overpowering the Black Stars at the group stage, Coach Oti Akenteng said such notions should not be taken seriously.

“As they observe, we are also observing them each day until we meet at the group stage. What we need is to offer our unflinching support to Kwasi Appiah to enable him to have full concentration to strategise to qualify at the group stage,” he advised.

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