It was a warm atmosphere at the Al Khartoum farewell party organized for new Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah, who has agreed on a two-year deal with the Ghana Football Association.
Despite the negative comments on the side of Ghanaians, Sudanese side Al Khartoum is surely proud of their outgoing coach Kwesi Appiah who will be heading to the Black Stars anytime soon. The Sudanese side has given the Ghanaian coach a rousing farewell as he departs to coach the Ghana national team.
Former Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah on April 4, was approved by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), as the new manager for the team. The 56-year-old signed a two-year deal which takes effect from May 1, 2017, with the executive committee of the GFA.
After last weekend’s league game, which saw 3-0 victory for Al Khartoum, against Tirat Al Bija, Kwesi Appiah was lifted shoulder high by players and officials of the club. This was in appreciation of Appiah’s efforts in shaping the team to a better form.
Kwesi Appiah will indeed be missed at the Sudanese side where he is said to have left an indelible mark. The new Black Stars coach according to reports has lost only once in his last five league matches. Appiah has been in charge of Al Khartoum since 2014, leading them to fourth and fifth places respectively in his first two years. Appiah’s last days at Al Khartoum will see him monitor the side’s midweek fixture against Merreikh Nyala, after which he will prepare to officially take over as Black Stars’ coach.
Kwesi Appiah’s Farewell Party at Al Khartoum
Officials and players of the Sudanese side engaged the coach who flew out to London immediately to spend the Easter holidays with his family; after which he would return to Ghana to join the national team.
Kwesi Appiah is making a comeback to the Black Stars after coaching the team from 2012 to 2014. It can be recalled that Appiah left the Black Stars in 2014 following a disappointing performance at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, where the team failed to exceed group stage for the first time.
The season which was described as a total disgrace of Ghana’s image had been the only season where the team failed to exceed group stage in a tournament. The 2014 World Cup tussle also saw some players of the team engage in heated disputes over bonus payments and other in-house irregularities.
However, the aftermath of the unforgettable 2014 episode has continued to hunt the incoming coach. This is in regards to the little controversy triggered by his second appointment as the new coach for Ghana’s national team. A section of Ghanaians had questioned the rationale behind his return as Black Stars coach.
While many made reference to the 2014 episode, there was also the argument that prospects, said to be better than the 56-year-old should have been considered.
Despite Appiah’s good records which includes grooming some of the big names in Ghana football, tons of questions regarding his being suitable for the team has been raised.
However, the Sudanese side as it appears, think otherwise of the new Black Stars Coach. Al Khartoum players and officials have expressed their gratitude to the coach for taking them to greater heights in his nearly three years at the side.
The Task Ahead
Incoming Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah has a tough task ahead of him at the Ghanaian national team. The team, as a matter of fact, have not made the best of starts to the final stage of qualification for Russia 2018. The Black Stars picked up just one point out of a possible six from their opening two matches in Group E.
Mr. Appiah also needs to deliver at the forthcoming AFCON 2019. Ghana’s first qualifier for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is in June when they host Ethiopia. The other teams in Group F are Sierra Leone and Kenya with only the pool winners guaranteed a place in Cameroon.
The search for a new Black Stars coach became necessary following the resignation of former coach Avram Grant, who exited the team after they failed to reach the finals of the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.