George Afriyie, Chairman of the Black Satellites Management Committee, has advised against the temptation to rush some outstanding players of the bronze medal-winning Satellites into the senior team, the Black Stars.
After their bronze-medal feat at the just-ended FIFA Under-20 World Championship in Turkey, there have been suggestions that some players of the team be considered for the Stars due to their performance.
While Mr Afriyie was impressed with the depth of talent in the team, he said the players should be allowed to mature into the senior role and not be rushed because of their impressive performance in Turkey.
“No doubt, the boys did very well and have shown a lot of promise but I think they should not be rushed into the senior team.
“If allowed to grow and mature and go through the ranks to garner more experience, there is no doubt that they will be the stars for the future. But we should not put pressure on them by pushing them to the Black Stars,” Mr Afriyie told the Graphic Sports in an interview after the team’s return home last Sunday.
He said while a player like Richmond Boakye-Yiadom had already had a stint with the Stars, his Italian club also contributed to his early progress and, therefore, his sterling performance with the Satellites should not be used as the yardstick for the wholesale promotion being proposed.
“We should be guided by what has happened in the past. The players should be allowed to enjoy the game as they grow along. There is the Meteors to played for. Black Stars is the creme de la creme and they will need more experience and exposure to take over. They have a bright future but there is no need to rush them,” emphasised Mr Afriyie, when asked if he felt his players were good enough to play for the senior team.
Mr Afriyie said his satisfaction with the team’s performance was that they had portrayed Ghana’s league in a positive light, considering the fact that about 70 per cent of the team consisted of local players.
“I think that the performance put up by the players, especially the local players is a positive sign for the local league that it’s not that bad after all as most people perceive.
“If the right structures for development are put in place, especially in the local game, there is no doubt that Ghana will continue to shine at the international stage at every level. What is needed is patience and the confidence.”
The Satellites boss, who was still revelling in the team’s success, also told this paper that he was a satisfied man after leading the team to a bronze-winning feat.
“We did not win the ultimate, but considering how poorly we started and how far we reached, losing to the eventual champions, I can be proud of the team.
“More importantly, I have been able to make up for the disappointment of my first year as chairman of the Satellites. I took over from a team that had won the World Cup only for us to fail to even qualify for the next edition in 2011.
“However, we picked up the pieces, assessed the situation and identified what needed to be done. Action was taken and here we are with good results, I cannot thank the entire management team, the technical team and the playing body enough,” Afriyie stressed
Source: Rosalind K. Amoh/Graphic
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