The ex-Black Stars striker shares his thoughts on the coaches performance so far and the way forward ahead of the next continental gathering

Former Ghana international Felix Aboagye has advised Black Stars coach CK Akonnor against playing to the favour of “friends” should he want to stand a chance of leading the team to Africa Cup of Nations glory next year.

The Black Stars are set to make another attempt to end a long wait for a fifth continental title, having last month secured qualification for the next tournament to be hosted by Cameroon between January and February.

Akonnor, who came under fire for the Black Stars’ most recent call-up, was appointed as Ghana coach in January last year.

“The coaching job is a different dimension altogether. You are being judged by results and at the moment he has passed one hurdle,” Aboagye, who represented Ghana at the 1996 and 1998 Afcon tournaments, said, as reported by Footballghana.

“And the other hurdle that he has to pass is building a winsome team that can go to Cameroon and bring the trophy that has eluded Ghana for quite a very long time.

“So, the ball is in his court, he has to take it very seriously to make sure that at least he will not make friends out of it.

“He has to be serious about his job, he should pick the best from the country and make sure they go and represent the country and bring the trophy back home.”

Ghana’s last Afcon success came at Libya 1982.

Last month, the Black Stars beat Sudan, South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe to the top spot in Group C in the qualifiers for Cameroon.

Next year’s appearance will be the West Africans’ 23rd outing at the continental showpiece.

“He [Akonnor] is going to be a hero when he is able to do it [win the Afcon] which has eluded so many coaches for a very long time,” Aboagye added.

“So the ball is in his court, he is mature enough now as a [former] player and as a coach, so we can say much but he has the authority, he has the power to do whatever that he wants.

“So the advice I will give him is that he should take the job very very seriously and make sure that he builds a very very winsome team.

“He should pick players who are available, who are playing day-in and day-out and make sure that he builds a winsome team that can go and bring the trophy back to Ghana. I have the trust in him that he has the ability and the capabilities to do that.”

The final tournament draw for the group phase of Afcon has been scheduled for June 25.