Accra, May 18, GNA - Mr David Duncan, the newly appointed coach of the national Under-17 team, the Black Starlets has expressed optimism of changing the recent poor performance of the nation in the juvenile competitions.
The Starlets after winning the World Under-17 tournaments in 1991 and 1995 remained a dominant force in the tournament till 1999, when they failed on two occasions to advance even to the Africa edition of the competition.
Coach Duncan who before his appointment was with Sekondi Hassacas said the recent performance of the nation at the juvenile level has not been impressive and this will be his primary concern when he assumes duty.
"The appointment and the task ahead of me are challenging ones but every difficult thing in life is surmountable" Coach Duncan told the GNA Sports in an interview.
"The appointment is coming at the right time of my coaching career and I believe I'm ripe for the job." Coach Duncan added. Outlining some of the challenges, the coach said the assignment is a daunting one because he has been given a responsibility of coaching and laying a foundation for the future.
Coach Duncan said he would instil a high sense of professional discipline and create a family-like atmosphere in camp in order to ensure a congenial relation in camp to achieve the needed success. On the mode of selection of the team, coach Duncan said his selection would be based on a nation wide exercise as he is going to cast his net across the length and breath of the country to unearth the best materials to build a winsome side for the qualifiers against Tunisia in November.
Coach Duncan who did not state whether he would give up his job at Hasaacas said his continues stay with the club will depend on the kind of agreement that will be made between the GFA and his former club. He however stated that his appointment is a national call and therefore it takes precedence over the job at Hasaacas.
The Starlets are expected to begin their qualifiers in November in a two leg match against Tunisia, with the first leg scheduled for Accra whilst the second will be played in Tunisia in two weeks time. Coach Duncan started his coaching career with his former club, Accra Great Olympics in 2001 as an assistant to coach J.E. Sarpong. He later took full responsibility of the team in 2002 after the departure of coach Sarpong and guided the team to a fourth place in the premiership.
His stay with the Wonder club, however, witnessed some misunderstandings with the then Management Board of Olympics culmination with his resignation from the club to join Hasaacas at the beginning of the last football season.
With Hasaacas, the coach transformed the club into quite a formidable side but only managed a tenth place position in the 2003 premiership.