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26.03.2019 Football News

Paa Kwesi Fabin, Bashir Hayford Ghana’s Rich History Of Exporting Coaches

By Samuel Ekow Amoasi Appiah
Paa Kwesi Fabin, Bashir Hayford Ghana’s Rich History Of Exporting Coaches

In a matter of 10 days, two Ghanaian coaches have landed appointments to lead national teams.

Former Ghana Premier League winning coach Bashir Hayford has been confirmed as the new head of the Somalia national team.

"We needed someone with a lot of experience to identify players and also help the other junior teams," SFF president Abdiqani Said Arab told BBC Sport.

"He is going to start identifying players ahead of the 2020 Total Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier where we play Rwanda in the first round."

His two-year contract comes on the heels of news that Samuel ‘Paa’ Kwesi Fabin has also been announced as the U20 and U17 national coach of Uganda, last week.

The former Kotoko boss takes the job after leading Ghana to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India last year. Uganda are chasing a qualification slot for the next edition, and Fabin’s reputation of finding youth talents has increased expectations in the East African nation.

Moses Magogo, Uganda FA chief, said of his appointment: “The arrival of Samuel Kwesi will improve our underage teams because he is a very experienced coach who has been at the youth World Cup. We needed a coach with such experience. As Uganda, our dream is to be the best in Africa on and off the field of play. Kwesi has the potential to lead us at the World Cup given his experience. We promise to give him full support.”

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A tradition of export
The last time a Ghanaian coach was given a national team job was in August 2015, when Sellas Tetteh was first given a caretaker role for Sierra Leone’s senior team. In March 2016, it became a permanent role, until 2017.

Ghana’s role as a trailblazer in every sphere of football has existed even before independence in 1957 when some of the world’s best teams of the day such as Real Madrid, Stoke City (with Stanley Matthews) and Brazil’s Santos (with Pele in tow) breezed into the country.

Ghanaian coaches were regularly invited as guests of European football associations or sent to understudy emerging tactical systems by the state.

This exposure was reflected on the pitch, with Ghana being the undisputed dominant football force in on the continent, underlined by African Cup titles in 1963 and 1965.

The coaching star of this period was Charles ‘CK’ Gyamfi, whose journeys to Europe had made him a master of the WM formation, which he tweaked to fit the local terrain. He would soon land jobs outside the country.

Since then, eight others have been entrusted with similar roles across the continent, as illustrated in this infographic.

Notably, the Fred Osam Duodu, won the U17 African Cup with the Gambia in 2005 while Ben Koufie was considered the father of developmental football in the many African nations he worked.

Ghana has also had a long list of coaches who have handled big club teams across Africa.