Newly appointed Black Stars head coach, Chris Hughton, is looking forward to spending more time in the country to enable him to effectively monitor the local league and add value to it.
According to him, the premium his employers placed on the local league could not be underestimated and he intend to spend more time in the country so he could help develop some of the competition’s top talents.
Addressing the media yesterday in Kumasi, the 64-year-old coach said his focus on Ghana’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup did not give him ample time to pay attention to the local league, but this time round, he was determined to focus on it.
“What I can tell you is since I’ve been involved with the association (GFA) about one year ago, I was made aware of how important the local game is to the association as a technical staff.
“This I’m conscious of, and in my period as a technical staff, we have had some players that have made the squad [Danlad Ibrahim of Asante Kotoko and Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, then of Hearts of Oak] from our local game.
“So, I certainly will not underestimate it. But I think where I can add some value in my new role is that I’ll be spending more time in Ghana. I’ll be watching more games, I’ll be attending more club games to know the league far better than, perhaps, I was given the opportunity to before”.
Despite not naming any local players in his 25-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola on Thursday at the Baba Yara stadium, the coach said the doors to the national team would not be shut on the local players as he would be spending most of his time watching the local league to identify talents.
“Certainly, in my new role as head coach, I’ll be paying very much attention to, not only the players that are doing well, but also the game here in general because I think it is important that the national team has a good national league and I’ll do my very best to make sure that I see much football here as possible,” he assured.
He further admitted that the country was endowed with so many talents that he could equally form an entirely new team with players not invited but wanted consistency and at the same time blend some new ones with the old squad.
“If I’m looking at the amount of talent that we have out there, I potentially could have brought in another new 25 players that have not been involved during my period of time, but we have to have some consistency in the squad”.