Below is the full text of Ghana’s coach Goran Stevanovic’s AFCON technical report
FROM : TECHNICAL TEAM
TO : EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
DATE : 07-01-2012
SUBJECT : REPORT – THE 2012 AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS IN GABON / EQUITORIA GUINEA.
The Ghana football Association in consultation with the technical team selected 25 players for preparation in South Africa.
Camping in Rustenburg was excellent and accommodation, feeding, training facilities were all good. We had ten training sessions and played two friendly games.
1. ADAM KWARASEY – Norway 15. EMMANUEL BAFFOUR – Edubiase
2. DANIEL ADJEI – Liberty 16. DEREK BOATENG – Dniprcr
3. ERNEST SOWAH – Chelsea 17. JORDAN AYEW – Masselle
4. KWADWO ASAMOAH – Udinese 18. JOHN MENSAH – Lyon –
5. SAMUEL INKOOM – Dnipro 19. JOHNATHAN MENSAH – France^
6. MASAWUDU ALHASSAN – Genoa 20. ISAAC VORSAH – Hofenheim ~
7. DANIEL OPARE – Standard 21. ANTHONY ANNAN – Vetesse – Hol
8. JOHN BOYE – France 22.JOHN PAINTSIL- Leister City ^
9. MOHAMMED ABU – Norway 23. PRINCE TAGOE – Turkey f
10 DEDE AYEW – Masselle 24. LEE ADDY – China J
11. CHARLES TAKYI – St. Pauli 25. ASAMOAH GYAN – AL Ain,
12. AGYEMANG BADU – Udinese
13. DEREK ASAMOAH – Pohang
14.SULLEY MUNTARI – Inter
1. GORAN STEVANOVIC
2. KWASI APPIAH
3. EDDIE ANSAH
4. ALEKS GUSIC
5. PERCY ANNAN
6. OPOKU AFRIYIE
7. ALLEN AKABA
8. CHARLES BOTCHWAY
9. SHERRIF MUSAH
11. SHILE ( PHYSICAL TRAINER)
12. MARIANA ( PHYSIOTHERAPIST)
INJURIES AND THE FINAL 23 SQUAD
After five training sessions in South Africa the technical team dropped Emmanuel Baffour and Derek Asamoah to bring the squad to 23.
John Mensah and Asamoah Gyan were nursing muscle injuries so the management brought in physiotherapist ( Mariana) from Serbia to help treat the muscle problems in the team.
Fortunately both players recovered miraculously within two days to join our training sessions.
Agyemang Badu also had an injury before camping in Rustenburg but recovered within some few days in camp.
On the day of every match we showed the players clips of the opposing team.
We analysed the opponent set pieces, defensive and attacking tactics and how we can penetrate their defence. All players were made aware of their roles and those who should take our set pieces.
Players were always psyched up and always made aware about the importance of this tournament to themselves and Ghanaians.
I also showed them films which were very motivational and inspiring.
ASSESSMENT OF TOURNAMENT
We played our first match against Botswana at Franceville which ended 1 – 0 in our favour.
Every first game of a tournament is always difficult and the Botswana team tactically sat back and relied on counter attacks.
I realised that most players’ performance was not as expected due to lack of games in their various clubs.
John Mensah scored the only goal for Ghana.
Our second game was also played at Franceville with Mali and the match ended 2 – 0 in favour of Ghana.
The goals were scored by Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew. I was really satisfied with our performance technically and tactically.
The third group match was played against Guinea at Franceville and the final score ended 1-1.
Guinea was my best team in the tournament and I was not surprised when they gave us a really good game.
John Mensah scored our goal from a corner kick
We qualified to the quarter final stage after being on top of our group.
The match was played at Franceville with Tunisia and it ended 2 -1 in favour of Ghana.
The goal scorers for Ghana were Agyemang Badu and Andre Ayew.
The match was very competitive but I was satisfied with our game and the players fighting spirit.
We reached the semi finals of the competition playing against Zambia. We played our best game in the tournament outplaying the Zambians technically and tactically.
We created many scoring opportunities but unfortunately could not utilise our chances. The Zambians created two chances and were fortunate to get a goal. We lost 1-0 but there was vast improvement in our game compared to the group stage matches.
After the loss every individual in camp was devastated and spirit in camp was zero. I held a meeting with the playing body the following day to encourage and to psyche them for our next game with Mali.
Unfortunately, the meeting turned out to be accusations and blames amongst the players which needs to be addressed by the FA management and the technical team for a better future.
The third place match against Mali was played at Equitorial Guinea. After missing our target which is the gold, the willingness to fight was lost in the players and we lost 2 – 0 to Mali.
After losing to Zambia, there arose so many accusations amongst the players during my meeting with them. I have learnt great lessons from African football and also about Ghanaian players’ behaviour on and off the field.We all need to help in changing some players’ mentality about using black power to destroy themselves and also make sure we install discipline and respect for each other.
I am very grateful to the Ministry of Sports, Ghana football Association Management, and the Black Stars Management Committee for their assistance and support during the qualifying stages, preparations and the competition in Gabon / Equitorial Guinea.
I also thank the technical team and Coach Oti Akenten who assisted in monitoring other teams for us. My gratefulness and thanks goes to my Gallant players who stayed in camp for almost seven weeks and worked tirelessly to reach quarter finals and finally to all Ghanaians who prayed and also supported us throughout the competition.
GORAN STEVANOVIC – HEAD COACH