Ghana coach Akonnor throws challenge to home-based players 

Trainer of the West African side reveals he wants to give more opportunities to players in the domestic league 

Ghana boss CK Akonnor has stated the national team doors are open to home-based players as much as they are to foreign-based stars.

Black Stars coaches in recent years have been heavily criticised for marginalising players plying their trade on the domestic scene for national call-ups.

“It’s up to the locals [to prove their worth]. We’ll give them the chance. We’ll encourage them. I would like to give the chance to the locals more,” Akonnor told Ghana FA Media in a video released on Twitter on Wednesday.

“When I started playing [for Black Stars], the likes of Frimpong Manso, Armah Senegal and Salifu Ansah the goalkeeper, they were senior guys. We had a majority of locals in the team.

“I started playing as a local player before I travelled abroad. It has changed and I think it is up to us to try as much as we can to improve that area because there is a big gap.

“Once we see a player doing well, I will also give him that chance. They should also believe they are coming to play. Not even to be on the bench. And that will show automatically in training. These are the kinds of things they will have to do and it has to come from the individual.

“I’m not going to close my eyes on them once they are there and doing well. They need to be consistent without their performances and they will automatically get in there.”

Last month, Akonnor named his first Ghana squad since assuming duty as Black Stars boss in January.

The 23-man roster featured four home-based players, namely Hearts of Oak goalkeeper Richard Attah, Ashanti Gold right back Kwadwo Amoako, Habib Mohammed of Asante Kotoko and Yahaya Mohammed of Aduana Stars.

The team, though, could not assemble for a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying double-header against Sudan due to the cancellation of fixtures over the coronavirus pandemic.