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18.07.2005 Sports News

Captain Churcher bids farewell to Rackets


Accra, July 18, GNA - David Churcher, captain of the national tennis team, the Golden Rackets on Monday ended his career with the team after reaching the retirement age of 60, but on a rather sad note. The captain's sorrowful mood on his departure is not in relation to the team's performance but with what he described as the deliberate refusal of people to recognise his efforts and achievements after his long service to Ghana tennis.

The Rackets at the weekend failed to retain their place in the Euro Africa Zone II Tournament when they played against Georgia at the Frank Ofori Center Court of the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra. Captain Churcher said despite his modest achievement with the team, he had been subjected to series of criticisms as well as interference from many quarters.

Speaking to the GNA Sports after the tourney, the coach said he had since the early 80's been in and out of the team as the captain but has as well been the saviour of the team, guiding them to move out of the Zone III and IV on many occasions.

The Captain said he had been subjected to so much criticism within the association and some retired tennis players who see no good in his efforts.

He said prior to the tournament, he was under intense pressure to invite some retired old players into the team for the doubles, an idea he rejected and as a result at the end he apparently stepped on many toes.

Captain Churcher said tennis belongs to the youth and must be left to them adding, "you could come in and win the doubles but for how long would you stay on?" he questioned.

"It is always right to give the young players the needed exposure to enable them mature into quality players than relying on those who have passed their prime and lose the future". Captain Churcher declared. Highlighting his achievements as the captain of the team, he said his presence at the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA) has seen him unearth a lot of tennis talents, citing the current number one seed, Henry Adjei-Darko as an example.

Commenting on the performance of the team, the coach said many factors worked against them and this resulted in their failure to maintain their place in the zone.

The coach said the attitude of the crowd and the lack of confidence by some officials had in affected the psyche of some of the players hence the poor output.

Information gathered by the GNA Sports reveals that former Number One seed, Frank Ofori is likely to be the next captain of the Rackets. Ofori in an earlier interview expressed his desire for the job and will be ready to take it up if the opportunity is presented to him. 18 July 05