Ghana manager raves over world-class St. George's Park

Wednesday 26 Mar 2014
Kwesi Appiah is spending the week at SGP
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says the facilities and learning opportunities on offer at the National Football Centre are truly world-class.

Appiah, who this summer will become the first African-born coach to lead Ghana to a World Cup finals, is leading a trip to England to boost his association's knowledge in player development, medical facilities and training equipment.

“I'm really impressed by the facilities here. For me it’s one of the best for what it does in the world,” said Appiah.

“The very fact that people can come over here to get the opportunity to train and use the pitches is fantastic. 

“As well as that they’ve been able to show us the medical facilities which was great for my team to see what new technologies there are in that area.”

Kwesi Appiah

  • Born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1960
  • Played at left-back for the national team between 1983-93
  • Coach of Ghana U23 side and guided them to the 2011 All-Africa Games
  • Will be the first African coach to take Ghana to the World Cup

Appiah and his colleagues have also had the opportunity to take in a number of games during their stay in England. 

So far they have visited Arsenal Ladies, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Burton Albion – and will travel to Anfield to watch Liverpool take on Sunderland on Wednesday evening.

But the itinerary is far more than a watching brief for Appiah and company – who have also been able to speak with and learn from a number of other coaches at all levels of the game.

“I was able to spend some time with a number of the club development coaches at the Advanced Youth Award,” he added.

“Back home In Ghana, there just isn’t the opportunities for coaches to come together and share ideas on how to coach better young players, and that’s what is really impressive to see – that this collaboration is taking place at St. George’s Park. 

“It’s really difficult because our pitches and facilities mean we can’t really do that. 

“It’s something which we discuss regularly to encourage, and it’s one thing we’ll take away from our trip that happens here that I think is really beneficial to coaching.”

Ghana delegation at SGP

The Ghana delegation are spending the week at St. George's Park

“Having a facility like this where coaches come from all over to do their coaching qualifications is something that’s really great.” 

Appiah took over the Ghanaian national job in April 2012, and has since guided his side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Drawn alongside Germany, Portugal and the United States, Appiah is under no illusions of the size of the task his side face to even get out of the group – but said he intends to also use his trip to Europe to see as many members of his potential squad as possible.

“At the moment over 90% of our players are playing in Europe,” he added. “On Wednesday we will go to watch Liverpool and then afterwards my assistant and I plan to see about 12 of our players." 

And on the uphill task he faces in Group G, Appiah was firm in his response. 

“I don’t believe there’s any country that are just going to Brazil to make up the numbers," he said.  

"We want to have the ambition and determination of going there thinking that we can do well. The last time in 2010 we got to the quarter-finals and we think this time we can do much better than that. 

“It’s a tough group but if you’re going out there for a competition then you have to have the ultimate ambition, which is to win it and be prepared for any time you come up against. 

“For me once you’ve gone through the first games and qualified then the confidence levels increase and for that reason you have to have the mentality that you cannot be afraid of anyone you meet.”

By FA Staff