Big Targets For Appiah
4/15/2012 9:31:26 PM -
The Black Stars coaching job may have changed hands from Serbian to a local hero, but the targets for the team remain the same.
In his first meeting with the Ghana Football Association last Tuesday, James Kwasi Appiah, who will be unveiled next week as the new Stars coach, was tasked to qualify the Stars for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2014 World Cup.
Not just that, Appiah who makes a transition from an assistant to the head coach, will also have to win the CAN 2013 in South Africa while his team will have to reach the semi-finals at the Mundial to be staged in Brazil the following year.
Also, he will be expected to keep the Stars’ sterling performance at the international level which has seen them rise to be among the best in Africa and the World Cup participants in recent times.
Having been the assistant coach for the past four years, these targets are not new to Kwasi Appiah but he has to be reminded poignantly that his inability to reach any of these targets could also spell doom for him.
Indeed, these were the same targets set for his predecessor, Serbian Goran Stevanovic but he failed to achieve them and had to be fired half way into his two-year contract.
While his first boss, Milovan Rajevac attained a measure of success at these targets which had been set since 2008, reaching the final of CAN 2010 and the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup at their second appearance, Stevanovic was not that lucky as the Stars finished fourth at CAN 2012.
A result that will eventually cause the Serbian his job as the Stars coach and pave the way for his assistant, Kwasi Appiah to be handed the job.
GFA president Kwasi Nyantakyi in re-emphasising these targets said: The Stars can only do better. We don’t expect them to slacken in their performance. Mr Appiah has always been part of the team and we are only reminding him that whatever targets set for the Stars which are yet to be achieved remain the topmost priorities and he will be expected to achieve them. He is however, assured of all the support he would require to excel at his job.”
Kwasi Appiah, a former Stars cpation, and one of the few players to have made the successful transition from a player to a national team coach, in response said he was aware of the targets which he described as important to every coach’s job.
“ Even without being reminded of the targets, qualifying for CAN 2013 and the 2014 World Cup would have been on my priority list as those are the most important ways to measure a coach and a team’s success. Though not in charge in the past, I’ve been part of how far the Stars have come and I don’t think now that I’ve been given the opportunity, I’d want the team to lose out.”
While he begins planning for the Stars especially for their June 3 World Cup qualifier against Lesotho, Appiah can count on the unflinching support of most of his players who have been sending him congratulatory messages since his appointment was announced.
“ Congratulations, you truly deserve it and you can count on us to deliver,” Andre Dede Ayew said in a message.
There have been similar messages from John Paintsil, Sulley Muntari, Anthony Annan and goalkeeper Richard Kingson.