Ahead of the Black Stars ‘B’ international friendly game with the Squirrels of Benin on Thursday, Ghanaians were shocked with the 30-man provisional squad by new coach Kwasi Appiah. Some names were missing while many new ones came up. In the end, every Ghanaian seemed happy with the list from the former Black Stars skipper.
Mubarak Wakaso and Agyemang Badu were the popular names missing from the list but the addition of seven players from the local league and ten new others became major topics for discussion. Many lauded Kwasi Appiah, others nodded their head in positive expectations while some faces glowed with hope that it is well with the Black Stars.
Many, including me, expected massive uproar in the media regarding Wakaso’s exclusion but the noise died slowly with the massive applauds in admiration of his new additions. Could this demonstrate why Kwasi Appiah is referred to as the silent killer by some of the players?
Following the laud admiration of Kwasi Appiah’s squad and the massive support he seems to have solicited from Ghanaians, one thing comes into mind swiftly; Kwasi has responding to the calls of Ghanaians.
Yes, all this while, many have called for the inclusion of new players who are in-form to ignite a perfect competitive Black Stars team for the best to come out of the players but former Ghana coach Avram Grant never believed in that idea. He always believed in his template call-up. I remember very well when Grant in a press conference told Ghanaians he doesn’t monitor Ghanaian players on the African continent. Amazing!
But with the 17 new players who are currently in the provisional list, Kwasi has shown massive respect to Ghanaians in that the competition we have been longing for will finally evolve.
Another sign of respect from Kwasi is the respect he has shown our local league. Inviting seven players from the local league into the mainstream Black Stars is a huge sign of respect. Many arguments can be advanced as to whether the players invited deserve the call up or not but the mere fact that the players have been invited must be applauded. Regardless, the players deserve the call ups in my opinion.
Since 2002, the number of local players in the Black Stars has never exceeded four but Kwasi Appiah has stretched his call-up to seven of them. Is this not amazing? Ghana had 9 local players in the Black Stars in 2002 which reduced to 4 in 2006, then 3 in 2008, 3 in 2010, 2 in 2012, 4 in 2013, 1 in 2015 and 1 in 2017. With this call up, Kwasi has shown massive respect to our local league and I shall always commend him for that.
This call up will obviously increase the market value of the league and the organizers of the league can use it as a bait to secure more sponsors for the league. Every serious investor will definitely want to associate with a league that produces players for the national team.
Again, this is a morale booster for players in the local league as everyone knows their performance will surely not go unnoticed.