Former Black Stars midfielder, Derek Boateng, has urged the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to pay more attention to juvenile football in the country. Boateng believes that the GFA has been over-relying on the Black Stars for success, while the youth teams have been neglected over the years. He advises that the right way to build the future of Ghana football is to raise young talents through the ranks, starting from grassroots football.
Boateng stated that youth players are much easier to train than the already established ones playing in the senior national team. He recommends that the FA should focus on grassroots football and leave the Black Stars to be. Boateng believes that when young players are not doing well, the coaching staff can offer them guidance and encouragement to bring them back to their game.
Boateng played in the junior national teams before finally becoming a key player for the Black Stars. He believes that the success of Ghana football lies in its youth development programs. The country has produced some world-class talents such as Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan, and Sulley Muntari, who all started their football careers in the youth teams.
For the most part, the GFA has been criticized for its lack of investment in youth development programs. The Black Stars have been the focus of attention, and the neglect of the youth teams has resulted in a decline in the quality of Ghanaian football. Boateng believes that if the GFA invests in youth development, it will lead to the emergence of more world-class talents.
Boateng’s advice to the GFA is timely, as Ghana prepares for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Black Stars have been drawn against Ethiopia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe in Group G. The team’s performance in the qualifiers will determine its chances of making it to the World Cup finals in Qatar.
In a nutshell, Boateng’s call for the GFA to focus on youth development is an essential step towards reviving Ghanaian football. Investing in grassroots football will ensure that the country produces world-class talents who will represent the nation at the highest level.