By Rachel Kakraba.
A former president of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has expressed shock at Serbian trainer Milovan Rajevac’s inability to select young players for the Senior National Football Team, the Black Stars in the just ended, Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Cameroon. For him younger players are the prospect of any football team especially as they are ambitious and go all out to achieve expected results.
Mr Nyantakyi, was speaking at a panel discussion on football, “Saving Our Passion” organised by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC. Comparing Coach Milo’s first appointment in Ghana, in 2008 to his recent job as Head Coach, which many people have described as one of Ghana’s poorest outings at the AFCON, in recent times, Mr. Nyantakyi, noted “The performance of Milo has taught me a lesson that the second coming of coaches in this country have been disastrous”, he said.
Milovan Rajevac, led the Black Stars to a group stage exit at Africa’s flagship football competition for the first time in 16 years. His first appointment in 2008, led the Black Stars to a sterling performance in the 2010 world cup South Africa in what Ghanaians described as the one goal project. 6 out of Milo’s 12 wins for Ghana ended 1-0, with one other game ending with a one-goal difference (2-1 v USA).
The former GFA boss-maintained football is a game for the young and players who have aged do not impact the team’s performance meaningfully.
“Football is for young players and I had this policy, I always said that any player over thirty years old is no longer a footballer but a politician. He is coming to destroy your team for you. They will come with agitations and something”.
Mr. Nyantakyi, said although coaches could give room for recommendations on players to field in the national team, the final decision rests with the coach. He said the just ended AFCON should have been an opportunity for Milovan Rajevac, to field young players, which was his game plan in his first appointment in 2008. He stated some of Ghana’s finest world class footballers were identified when they were given such opportunities.
“Very few Coaches have the courage to really tamper with the team and bring in young players. The coach must be courageous to know when to introduce young players and be courageous enough to retire or ask older people to standby. I am surprised that Milo couldn’t do that in 2022”.
“For me it is no excuse for a Coach to succumb to any form of pressure. Coaches are professionals who are employed to do their work, just as architects, engineers, surveyors, teachers and their professionalism must be respected by all”. Mr. Nyantakyi added.
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