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Shortlisted foreign coaches impress GFA during interview

"The Ghana Football Association (GFA) panel which interviewed coaches Michel Pont, Avram Grant "

Source: Graphic Online

Posted on : Mon 20 Oct 2014

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The Ghana Football Association (GFA) panel which interviewed coaches Michel Pont, Avram Grant and Juan Ignacio Martínez Jiménez at the Alisa Hotel at North Ridge in Accra for the vacant Black Stars coaching job was left with good impressions of the trio’s knowledge of the team and their desire to help the Stars reach their full potential.

This week the team is expected to put together a report for the perusal of the FA’s executive committee, but the Graphic Sports has learnt that German coach Bernd Schuster, could make a u-turn and travel to Ghana to face the FA’s panel, after initially distancing himself from the five-man shortlist released by the FA.

However, following correspondence between the former Real Madrid coach and the FA’s general secretary, Emmanuel Gyimah, Schuster, agreed to travel to Ghana for the interview, according to the FA’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Sannie Daara.

Last Saturday, the panel which comprised its chairman Fred Crentsil, Fred Pappoe, George Afriyie -- all members of the GFA Executive Committee -- and revered FIFA/CAF coaching instructor Ben Koufie, interviewed Spaniard Jiménez and 60-year-old Israeli Avram Grant, who were said to have diagnosed the problems bedevilling the Stars and how they hoped to address them if handed the job.

Pont, who was assistant coach of the Swiss national side at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, was the first to be interviewed last Friday at the Alisa hotel, for the vacant job previously held by Kwasi Appiah.

However, Italian Marco Tardelli, who was among the shortlisted coaches, failed to turn up for the interview, after stating last week he had not applied for the job.

Mr Afriyie, a member of the panel, said their encounters with the trio were very exciting, especially last Saturday’s interviews which he described as “a lecture session”, with both Grant and Jiménez outlining how they hoped to return Ghana to reclaim glory in Africa and make a bigger impact at the global stage.

“They know so much about Ghana’s team and have been following our performances, including the recent AFCON qualifiers,” said Mr Afriyie.

“They demonstrated a strong understanding of their job, but it’s too early to draw conclusions because we are yet to put together our report.”

GFA sources said former Israel coach, Grant, flew into the country last week from Thailand via London and said he was motivated for the job by the challenge and the potential Ghana could make under his charge.

Even though the FA officials were tight-lipped about the salary expectations of the coaches, another member of the panel said they quoted figures which were within the FA’s budgetary constraints and was sure salary negotiations would not become a thorny issue when appointing Appiah’s successor.

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