Friday Jun 19, 2020. 09:00
Former internationals Issah Ahmed and Yusif Chibsah have called on Ghana Premier League (GPL) clubs to utilise experienced players in order to grow the local game in the West African country.
The two former Asante Kotoko stars believe that a culture of discarding older players is hurting the GPL, arguing that experienced operators can help bring through the younger generation and ensure a stronger domestic competition.
“When I was in Ghana some years back, I had an encounter with Daniel Nii Adjei, then a young and promising star with Kotoko in Kumasi after a Monday Stars match. After the game he walked up to me and said “Senior watching you closely we could use your services back at Kotoko, we’ll have a lot to learn from you but I told him they had retired us,” Ahmed is quoted by the Ghanaian Times.
“We can get a lot of them [experienced players] to return if the media stop being so critical and labelling them as old players who have passed their prime and can’t deliver. The media is always quick to forgive young players when they make mistakes during games but when an old player makes a mistake he is harshly and at times unjustifiably critiqued and not forgiven.”
Chibsah, another respected figure in the Kotoko fraternity, explained: “Most of these old stars I can confidently say have a lot of energy and football in their legs, yet we are quick to cast them aside and shut the door on them.”
He continued, “I can’t begin to list the values we learnt from the old Stars on and off the field; playing with greats such as Emmanuel Ampiah, Joe Debrah and later Godwin Ablordey was valuable to our careers – their guidance, discipline and counsel is largely missing today and this is a matter of grave concern.”
The GPL has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus. Ghanaian football authorities will make a decision as to the fate of the 2019-20 season by the end of the month.