INTERVIEW: Edward Ansah explains Ghana’s goalkeeping situation

Edward Ansah (Left)

Black Stars’ goalkeeper trainer, Edward Ansah, has responded to the numerous concerns from Ghanaian football fans about the future of Ghana’s goalkeeping position. We bring you excerpts of an Interview Mr. Ansah granted to Happy FM on Wednesday 15 June, 2011.

 Happy FM (HFM): How do you feel about all the name-calling in recent days?

The goalkeeping position is part of the team, which is headed by a head coach. I am under this head coach who either approves or disapproves of my advice. I take every decision in consultation with my head coaches. It is not fair how people are blaming me for the recent goals Richard Kingson has conceded, but it is part of the job. It is some of the pressure which comes with the game.

HFM: What is the current goalkeeping situation in camp?

Let me emphasise here that Richard Kingson is our number one goalkeeper. What we are doing now is calling on some of the younger goalkeepers and seeing how they fit into the squad. We have been bringing these young players to camp all the time. What happens however is that, during [friendly]games we have intentions to replace Kingson, but sometimes the games get tougher than we expected. Since no coach wants to lose a game when we even advice, the coaches tell us to wait.

HFM: Don’t you have confidence in other goalkeepers?

It is not so. We do not want to unnecessarily expose these young goalkeepers to harsh criticisms. When the games are critical and the reserve keeper make a mistakes, you know Ghanaians and how they will criticize him. For example, when Ghana played Japan in Holland, William Amamoo was brought on in the second half and he conceded four goals. He is still being criticized to date. The coaches therefore cautious with the other goalkeepers.

HFM: The other day Richard Kingson threatened to quit because of the criticisms. What happened?

This started at training grounds prior to the Congo game. Some fans were insulting him anytime he conceded at training. At a point he was so angry that he wanted to confront these fans, but he was restrained. After training, he granted the interview without our knowledge. Later on when I asked him, he admitted to granting the interview. But on my, he promised to rescind his decision.

HFM: Suppose Richard Kingson finally declares his retirement today, who will replace him?

We have brought in many young goalkeepers to have a feel of the Black Stars. For instance, there is Ernest Sowah. People have misquoted me on [Ernest] Sowah. I meant to say he has the potential to replace Kingson. Of course, there are others like Sammy Adjei, Daniel Adjei, Fatau Dauda, Isaac Amoako and Adam Kwarasey. I have called him [Kwarasey] several times to discuss playing for Ghana.

HFM: Who is Ghana’s number two goalkeeper?

That is not necessary. There are many young players who we are looking at. But, let me say that the next goalkeeper will not be able to start where Kingson ended. When he comes in, we will all have to support him.

HFM: Do you have a personal problem with Sammy Adjei?

I don’t have any personal problem with Sammy Adjei. When he announced his comeback from retirement, we invited him. The Sammy Adjei we knew some years back is not the same Sammy Adjei of today. He has a lot of work to day.

HFM: How do you compare Ernest Sowah to Richard Kingson

Ernest Sowah is young, but Sammy Adjei has better international exposure. Please don’t focus on Ernest Sowah alone, he is not the only replacement we are looking at as I have said already.

HFM: Do U monitor local players?

I don’t watch Division I and Division II games. I watch premiership games only at Dansoman and Ohene Djan. When I do, I don’t tell anyone I am monitoring players.

At this point, the interviewer started reading text messages from listeners.

TEXT MSG: Is it true you take money from Richard Kingson?

Because others don’t have integrity, a lot of people feel we all don’t. Since my playing days, I never took or paid bribes. I was always picked on merit. So as a coach, I do not see why I should take money from players. Richard Kingon is in post purely on merit!

HFM: What about Adam Kwarasey?

Three days a go, I spoke with him. Its not the FAs fault that his paperwork has delayed. They have written to FIFA for a switch of nationality. We are waiting for FIFA. I have monitored him. He is good and keen to play for Ghana. Once FIFIA gives us the go ahead, I will bring him in and see how he fits into our game.

TEXT MSG: Why cant you give us a name of our number two goalkeeper?

We don’t have an established number two. We have several players. I can say confidently that when the time comes, we will have a replacement.

HFM: Do you interact with other goalkeepers’ trainers?

I have discussions with other goalkeepers trainers. We discuss how we can all improve as goalkeepers trainers and how we can harmonize our training regimes.

HFM: Why do you keep dropping Sammy Adjei?

When Ghana’s team B played Serirra Leone, Ernest Sowah was in post and he played well. After that, there were three league games before Ghana played Congo game. While Sammy Adjei was not featuring for Hearts, Ernest Sowah was keeping for Chelsea. So it was easy for me to suggest Ernest Sowah to the head coach who agreed with my reasoning.

TEXT MSG: We have a committed goalkeeper from Nania FC, are you aware?

Yes, I have seen one game of his and he is good. I would like to see some consistency in his performance over say, three seasons.

TXT MSG: Because he was old during Bhukard Ziese’s time as a Ghana coach, he wants to use an old man

It is true that I was in Black Stars post for long. But what matters is how fit the goalkeeper is.

TEXT MSG: Apart from big club keepers, does EA watch other players? What about Foli Adade?

[Smile] I have watched him. Will he be able to keep his consistency? During and after the World Cup, Daniel Adjei was in top form. But today, he is out of form. The club’s rotation policy also affects the form of the players.

TXT MSG: What wrong has Isaac Amoako done?

Richard Kingson and Isaac Amoako are miles apart. Amoako is young and coming up. He was part of the team in Swaziland. We have not written him off from the team

HFM: How did we concede against Congo and Korea?

Against Congo, Kingson should have cleared the ball, but he didn’t. Later, he explained that he did not see the striker coming to score. I watched the Korea game goals more than 10 times. The first goals was his error. The second goal wasn’t his fault. He made a first save, but the defenders were too relaxed. I will never fault Kingson.

TXT MSG: Do the player discriminate against goalkeepers than Kingson?

No. The players play their game. They do not discriminate

CALLER: Do U want Kingson to be keeper for ever?

When we played Bosnia, Daniel Adjei was in post when we lost. The same fans complained that he was too young.

CALLER: Kingson cost Ghana CAN 2008 because even when he was injured he did not want to give chance to others

It is sad when one listens to people speak out of ignorance. During the Cameroun game [at CAN 2008], Kingson was injured. I called Sammy Adjei to warm up, he ignored me. He also ignored Claude Leroy [the Head Coach]. So Fatau Dauda started to warm up. During training session prior to the third-place game, Sammy Adjei claimed he was injured. But these are matters that we like to keep in-house as a family. He himself apologized later on and we have taken him back.



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