Sports

Make nation’s interest paramount …Agyeman Duah tells players

Former Black Stars and Hearts of Oak player, Edward Agyemang Duah has called on active players to display a sense of patriotism and put the nation first in order to end the over 35 years African Cup of Nations(AFCON) trophy drought.

According to the stalwart who also featured prominently for Asante Kotoko and AshantiGold, money had become the focus of players and has caused the nation laurels on the continental and global stages in recent years.

In an interview with the Times Sports, Duah admitted that, there were a lot of talents in the current Black Stars squad but sadly, they lack commitment towards the national course.

“It is true money is good but players need to be passionate about playing for the nation and die a little for it. That would be the only way the current Black Stars can win the trophy.”

“It was not so lucrative playing for the Black Stars in our days. We were not taking the fat bonuses the present generation is taking but the desire and fire in us anytime we don the national team jersey kept pushing us.

“The present generation will have no excuse for failure to win the trophy (AFCON) because they have the very best of everything. They are enjoying good allowances, camping under very good conditions and being trained by very good technical people in an enhanced system.”

Agyemang Duah who is currently battling with stroke said, they sacrificed for the nation in their playing days and and advised the younger ones to put in a bit of those attributes in order to excel.

He urged government to continue to support the national teamsto make Ghana a continental and global force again.

Duah, known as the ‘Rock of Gibraltar or Rambo’ was celebrated especially on the local front for his combative play and commanding presence at the defensivearea and was instrumental in the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) campaigns for Kotoko, Ashantigold and Hearts of Oak.

He called on government to support old players especially those battling with illnesses because they had sacrificed their youth to defend the national colours.

“This is the time we need the nation to support us to get back on our fit.  That would go a long way to motivate the young ones to give their all for the nation,” he stated.

He expressed appreciation to individuals and corporate bodies that had stretched a hand of support to him in these crucial times.

He started his playing career with Okwahu United before playing for Kotoko and took them the CAF Champions League in 1993 and AshantiGold in 1997(both runners up) before winning the Champions League with Hearts in 2000,becoming the only player to have taken three teams to the Champions League finals in the process.

BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE

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