Ghana in bid to reprise glory of 2010 World Cup

Nov 5 (Reuters) – Ghana have gone through three coaches in 12 months and are making a concerted effort to add new talent to the team in an effort to reprise old glory and be competitive at the World Cup.

Otto Addo, with no previous senior coaching experience and combining his role as talent manager at German club Borussia Dortmund, will be leading the Black Stars campaign in Qatar where they take on Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay.

He is Ghana’s third coach in the last year after Charles Akonnor was fired despite taking the team through the group phase of the African World Cup qualifiers into the playoffs in March, and Milovan Rajevac, shown the door after a disastrous Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon at the start of the year.

Rajevac was brought back after his exploits in 2010 when Ghana came within the width of the crossbar of becoming the first African country to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

But there were few similarities between the class of 2010 and the current generation and the Serbian was in charge for a matter of weeks as Ghana were humiliated at the Cup of Nations when the tiny Comoros Islands put them out in the first round.

That led to the surprise appointment of the inexperienced Addo, the 47-year-old former Ghana international who was born in Germany and played for the Black Stars in their first World Cup appearance in 2006.

He had former Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton as his advisor as Ghana rode their luck to edge Nigeria in the March World Cup playoffs.

Ghana were held to a 0-0 home draw in the first leg of the tie but then snatched a berth in Qatar on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw after a goalkeeping howler from the Nigerians.

Since then there has been a concerted effort to strengthen the squad by persuading players with Ghanaian heritage to join the squad, like former Spain international Inaki Williams and Tariq Lamptey, the England under-21 fullback from Brighton.

There are still hopes of adding the likes of Bayer Leverkusen forward Callum Hudson-Odoi, on loan from Chelsea, before their Group H opener with Portugal in Doha on Nov. 24.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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