Charles Kwablan Akonnor recently opened up to the Communications Department of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on his appointment as latest head coach of the Black Stars.
Below is a transcript of episode II of the serialised conversation with the ex-captain now trainer of the Ghana senior national team talking about support and his predecessor Kwasi Appiah:
FA: Has any of your former mates reached out and how supportive have they been since you took charge of the team as head coach?
CK: Only a few, some have spoken to me through the media. A person like Sam Johnson, he was really speaking out as to what I need to do and I take that in good faith. He wants me to succeed and so whatever comes from him is good. He is not coaching but of course, he knows the game.
Of course, Sammy Kuffour is part of management. I have met him on several occasions, the little advice that he has, he has given me. Augustine Ahinful has also been supportive since I started coaching. There are those who can speak to you directly and there are those who will speak out through the media, it’s a way of giving you a message and I accept all of that in good faith.
FA: How often do you talk to your former boss Kwasi Appiah and what has been his reaction since you took over?
CK: I went to him (before taking up the job) because before he got me to assist him there was a lot of discussion between us. I told him my opinion and what I stand for, he accepted that in good faith and so once he is no more the coach, there was the need for me to give him that respect. Because truth be told, he is the one who got me there, nobody did.
It’s a miracle for me to be his assistant and within two months and after two matches, I am the head. It can only be a miracle, nobody [else] got me there and so I have to give him that respect and I will continue to give him that respect.
FA: What do you need from Ghanaians and the GFA to be successful?
CK: Well, it is support. The necessary support that I need; the calmness to work. We have this tendency where people come into your business and do things. This is what I have done since childhood; from the age of 12, I started playing football. I played football to a certain level and stopped; now I am into coaching. I know about the game.
I understand the game that is what I know, so I am comfortable there. For me, this is what I do. This is me, football is part of me and I am comfortable doing it, irrespective of what comes with it, the salary and all those things. It is what I know and this is what I do. It is my work and so I am comfortable within that zone. And so I will do this to the best of my knowledge.