Invite our local players – Hearts ex-top defender appeals to Appiah

Kwesi Appiah – Urged to pick some locals into senior national team

Kwesi Appiah – Urged to pick some locals into senior national team

Former full-house lateral defender of Accra Hearts of Oak, Nii Noi Dowuona, has called on head coach of the senior national team, James Kwesi Appiah, to give local players the opportunity to feature in his plans.

He said the locals have tremendous energy and are all-too ready to exert it all on the field when afforded the chance.

“From what I have seen over the years, the Black Stars tend to play better when the team has a number of locals.

“This is because local players are always hungry to deliver. Fact is that they have little or no exposure and once they are presented with the chance in the Stars, they wouldn’t disappoint as they are ready to sacrifice everything on the pitch,” he asserted in an interview with the Times Sports last weekend.

“He Appiah himself was a local player and featured prominently in the Black Stars set-up and so knows what I’m talking about.”

The rock-hard defender, who also played for Accra Great Olympics, advised Appiah to invite local defenders in order to give solidity to the Stars’ backline, insisting that “the local defenders do the work better than their overseas-based counterparts.”

Dowuona, an intelligent and brawny defender in his heyday, hailed the appointment of Kwesi Appiah over an expatriate coach, “but he has to work hard to justify the trust and confidence reposed in him.”

“The nation was divided over the choice of coach and once he (Appiah) has got the nod, he must work diligently to put the smiles on the faces of the fans,” he added.

The attacking left-back-cum-right-back is remembered for opening the scoring for Hearts in the club’s 2-1 win over rival side Kumasi Asante Kotoko in a 1997/98 crunch league tie at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

Appiah officially started work as Stars coach on May 1 after having been given a two-year contract.

The former Black Stars’ class defender has five games ahead of him starting next month when Ghana play Ethiopia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Stars also have two international friendlies against Mexico and USA on June 28 and July 1 respectively.

Appiah will also put together a home-based side to face Burkina Faso in a 2018 CHAN final round qualifier over two legs.

John Vigah


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