Ex – Black Stars goal poacher Kwesi Owusu shares his thoughts on the current state of Ghana football.
The ex Bofoakwa Tano striker who was a predominant figure in Ghana football between the 60’s and 70’s branded coaches and players on the local scene reckless and cast doubt on the quality of the players and coaches in the local game.
The 2015/2016 local league season is nearing its conclusion with three matches to draw the curtain down.
However, it has been a season to forget with on and off the pitch issues ranging from the inability to attract sponsorship deals to allegations of match fixing scandals putting a dent on the local football. Kwesi Owusu has been left unimpressed with the current state of affairs in the local game and has called on coaches and players especially to improve the quality of play in the league.
”There are some games that I saw some really good quality football on display. Some too, not quite. The beauty of the game is all about players bringing their quality to the fore and such quality ranges from how players are able to control the ball at their feet to even their shooting abilities and such quality is what is obviously lacking in our game”. Owusu told Takoradi based Spice FM.
”Is it a question of the coaches not allowing the players to showcase their burgeoning talents or the players do not have that top-notch talents or quality to improve our game”. he asked.
He suggests we need to back to the basics when players were being developed from the grassroots.
“We need to go back to the basics and develop such talents from the grassroots when the players are still tender. We have a lot of people in our game who claim to be coaches but what is the forefront duty of a coach? As a coach, you need to teach and instruct even before the coaching comes in but with our coaches the teaching aspect is completely shunned. All they do is just dish out a couple of ridiculous instructions. Our strikers are terrible shooters of the ball and shooting is an aspect of the game that needs to be taught and embedded in the strikers so that they can bang in the goals. It is one thing our coaches are failing woefully to do”
“During my youthful days, I was put through the paces and thoroughly taken through shooting practices and even on how to kick the ball. Ben Koufie would assemble lots of balls on the training pitch and ask me to just be shooting them into the net. That is what turned me into a lethal striker and why I scored a lot of goals. Do our strikers go through such rigor practicing? I do not think so”.
On his thoughts on the Black Stars and incentive packages ahead of games such as winning bonuses and the brouhaha it comes along with it, the ex-Ghana international was effusive bringing into knowledge what past players received in way of incentives and then what the current players also demand before honoring call-ups.
He cited the situation of former Hearts and Kotoko schemer Charles Taylor and his outcry of regret for representing the national team with the ex-international advising that playing for your nation does not start and end with picking up bonuses and incentives.
“I will advise Charles Taylor not to think about such things. He should be proud that the talents God granted him with, he put it to good work and in service of his nation. I personally do not have any wealth whatsoever but the little I was able to earn during my days, I have been able to put up an estate. When I played for the national team, we were paid paltry bonuses at the end of every match. It is such bonuses that I saved and alongside my personal ventures I was involved in, I was able to save a lot ensuring my estate was furnished just in time. Recently, the President presented a token to be given to past players but up but as i am speaking now I have not received my share but I am still living well”.
On whether or not any current local based player could earn a call-up to the Black Stars, he concluded by not completely ruling out the local players from the Black Stars and predicted future call-ups for some of the players.
“Our local players who will eventually earn call-ups to the Black Stars will relish the opportunity given to them and work hard accordingly. We should give our local boys the confidence and belief to allow them to develop and we can do that by trying them in our Black Stars setup to see what they can also offer. I believe they can do well when given the chance”.
Kwesi Owusu affectionately known as ‘Power House’ once said he scored more than 70 goals for Ghana but was later told only 39 were recognised as official goals because of lack of documents.