Meet the finest Ghanaian footballers to have switched from the pitch to the dugout with some ease
By: KickerGH Staff
Making the transition from being a top footballer to entering the coaching world isn’t smooth for many, but quite a few have made it seem so. In celebrating this week’s appointment of former Ghana full-back John Paintsil to South African giants Kaizer Chiefs’ technical bench as assistant manager, KickerGH profiles five of those Ghanaians who’ve achieved the segue.
CHARLES KUMI GYAMFI
Doubtlessly the greatest of Ghanaian coaches, Gyamfi was at the helm when the Black Stars won three of its four Nations Cup titles. Prior to all that, though, he represented Ghana’s pre- and post-independence national teams as a player and excelled. Gyamfi, among other things, played for Ghanaian power duo Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak; went on to form a local outfit, Great Ashantis (now defunct), of which he was player-coach; before later becoming the first Ghanaian footballer to go professional.
Appiah, in late 2013, sealed his place as the first among his countrymen to successfully lead Ghana to a Fifa World Cup appearance as coach after overseeing a remarkable qualification campaign which was crowned with a 7-3 aggregate annihilation of mighty Egypt. And while, for reasons largely beyond his control, the Stars’ overall display at Brazil 2014 wasn’t exactly flattering, ‘Mayele’ had made his mark regardless and was subsequently rewarded with a switch to club football management in Sudan where he continues to thrive.
CECIL JONES ATTUQUAYEFIO
A 12-year playing career memorably decorated with Afcon triumph in 1965 made him truly great in Ghana’s footballing annals, but the late Attuquayefio’s finest moments were arguably produced in his remarkably lengthy and successful stint as a coach. A master of the local game, Attuquayefio handled Goldfields (now AshantiGold), Great Olympics (who he also played for), before etching his name in gold when he took capital club Hearts to the heights of domestic and continental success. Reverently nicknamed ‘Sir’, Attuquayefio also had gigs in charge of Ghana and Benin, leading the latter to a maiden Nations Cup appearance.
The former Kotoko player and coach is one of the best to both play and coach the beautiful game on these shores. After a storied spell with the Porcupine Warriors and the national team as a winger, Sunday turned his attention to the touchline and led Kotoko to their second taste of African glory in 1983, treating fans of Ivorian club Africa Sports to same less than a decade later.
The success of the former Ghana captain’s international career is well-documented, as are his exploits at club level in Germany. As a coach, ‘C.K’ hasn’t yet been as explosive as he was on the field, although he had a notable spell in charge of traditional sides Hearts and Sekondi Eleven Wise before overseeing the promotion of his current club, Dreams FC, to the Ghanaian top-flight.