Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah, has set the middle of next year as the deadline to shut the door on the open invitation of new players to the senior national team.
The Stars coach, who resumed duty last May after the exit of Israeli trainer, Avram Grant, said he was on a team-building process for AFCON 2019 and remained certain to settle on his core squad before the middle of next year.
In an exclusive interview at the offices of the Graphic Sports yesterday, Coach Appiah was convinced that the only time to settle on a core team was after affording every talent the opportunity to prove himself in his final squad.
“I am building a team for 2019 and that is why I am trying to invite a lot of players so that by the end of the year, we can sit back and say that now we are sure of these 10 players who can fit into the team.
Touching on Ghana’s final World Cup qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt in Cape Coast on November 12, the 57-year-old trainer said he settled on foreign-based players instead of locals because he wanted to improve the country’s FIFA ranking.
“Playing Egypt we need to raise our ranking and at the same time there are many other players who need to be assessed and be sure they could be part of the team by next year; so I should take this opportunity to look at them instead of players who have gone on break,” he explained.
The former Al Khartoum of The Sudan coach also attributed the break of the local league as the other reason why he sidelined the local players.
“The local boys finished the league last two weeks, so how do you use players who have finished the league”, the ex-Ghanaian international questioned.
Coach Appiah also attributed injuries to Italy-based Alfred Duncan and Afriyie Acquah as the reason for inviting Mubarak Wakaso for the first time since his re-appointment as the Starsí head coach.
“Wakaso plays as a defensive midfielder and, at the moment Afriyie Acquah is returning from injury and Alfred Duncan is injured, so automatically I only have Attamah Larweh.
I need to bring someone who I know already who can play that role”, Coach Appiah stressed.