Coach Ofei, one for present or future?

Coach Ofei, one for present or future?

• Desmond Ofei

 The 13th African Games Accra 2023 will go into Ghana’s rich sports history as the most successful games event for the number of medals won.

It was not a single-sport event like a football, athletics, boxing or cycling championships for one to boldly declare that Ghana hosted and won.

This is because Ghana’s 68 medal haul was the best by her standards but was not enough to even place her among the top five countries.

Those slots were occupied by Egypt with 101 gold medals, 46 silver and 42 bronze totaling 189 medals; followed by Nigeria with 47 gold, 33 silver and 20 bronze totaling 120 medals; South Africa with 32 gold, 32 silver and 42 bronze totaling 106 medals; Algeria with 29 gold, 38 silver and 47 bronze totaling 114 medals and Tunisia in fifth 21 gold, 27 silver and 39 bronze totaling 87 medals.

Ghana followed in a respectable sixth position with 19 gold, 29 silver and 20 bronze to bag a total of 68 medals.

The hosting was Ghana’s first and the construction of multi-purpose state-of-the-art sports facilities would surely leave a long lasting memories with fans.

Apart from the facilities, the performance of certain teams and individuals would

 is the Head Coach of the victorious national U-20 football team, the Black Satellites, Desmond Sakyi Ofei.

Ofei had come to the limelight following his appointment as the Head Coach of the Black Satellites; a team that had struggled to emerge from the wilderness for some time, having failed to make any serious impact on the football scene after their giant-killing feat in 2003 when they conquered all to become world champions.

That appointment may have appeared unattractive to other coaches as a result of the Satellites poor run but perhaps, with little or no recognition for local coaches, Ofei, assisted by Ghana’s U-17 legend Nii Odartey Lamptey grabbed the opportunity.

Together with other technical hands, they made the most of it by guiding the Black Satellites to Ghana’s second African Games male football gold with a late Jerry Afriyie strike over Uganda.

Ofei has since been credited for the good work with the Satellites team which he inherited from his former boss, Samuel Boadu whose last assignment was the WAFU Zone B U-20 Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Under his watch, the team underwent some rebuilding, a process that saw the scouting of talents like Remember Boateng, Frederick Kesse, Michael Ephson, Mohaison Mahmoud and others to beef the squad.

In a few months’ time, he managed to turn the side into a winning one and showed promise in the games he played both in the tournament and preparatory ones towards it.

Within that period, every close follower of the team realises what the 36-year old Ofei, a UEFA Licence A holder brings to the table for the young, dynamic and upcoming local coaches. He was on point with his tactics which he changes based on what the opposition throws at him.

His relationship and communication with his charges is excellent. His connection with people working around him is also superb.

Ofei’s performance would surely reignite the debate about the need to involve the local coaches in building the national teams because they have something the foreign breed lacks.

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