Former Ghana international Stephen Appiah has shed light on his recent stint as technical coordinator of the Black Stars.
The ex-Juventus midfielder was handed the opportunity to join the national team backroom staff in 2017 following the appointment of James Kwasi Appiah as new head coach of the outfit.
He held onto the role until last year.
“In 2010, after a World Cup game, I told Kwasi Appiah [then Ghana assistant coach] in the bus ride to the hotel that he will coach the national team one day and become a good one. He said to me ‘I will make you part of my technical team’,” Appiah revealed in an interview with Joy FM on Saturday.
“I was the centre man [as technical coordinator]. If something happened in camp, the players would talk to me then I would send the message to the management and coaches. Also, before games, I tried to motivate the players as well.
“I always wanted to be an agent after playing but working with the Black Stars has made me feel like I can be a coach. I will be starting my coaching course soon.”
It was Appiah’s first major job with the Black Stars since his playing days.
As a player, the 39-year-old earned huge plaudits for his leadership as captain of the team between 2002 and 2010.
He first took over the armband when Ghana faced Slovenia in a friendly fixture and would go on to lead the team to secure a historic first-time qualification for the World Cup in 2006.
“When I was offered the captaincy, I said ‘no’. I thought [goalkeeper] Richard Kingson was the most experienced in the team at the time so I said he should lead the team.
“But Kingson tapped me and told me to accept the role and that he and the other senior players would support me.
“After that, I called [former Black Stars captain] Abedi Pele and informed him. He offered me advice and told me I was a born-leader so I shouldn’t be afraid but it would be difficult because not everybody will accept my decisions.
“I also called [Samuel] Osei Kuffour, Akonnor and others to seek their blessings.
“I didn’t win any trophies [with the national team]. People won trophies but their target was always to play in the World Cup. So far as we qualified for the World Cup it was successful. I would have also loved to win an Africa Cup of Nations.”
From Appiah, Ghana’s captaincy briefly stayed with defender John Mensah before moving to striker Asamoah Gyan.
“Andre is a leader. The way he talks and the way he acts. Andre always wanted to win and will give everything on the pitch. He has leadership skills and I see a good leader,” Appiah stated.
The former Hearts of Oak star, who ultimately represented Ghana at two World Cup tournaments (2006 and 2010), the 2004 Olympic Games as well as at the U20 and U17 World Cup championships, also played for Italian sides Udinese, Parma, Brescia, Bologna and Cesena at club level.
He also featured for Turkish side Fenerbahce and Serbian outfit Vojvodina.