Inside the mind of Ghana coach Adotey

Adotey leaves nothing to chance and has a strong work ethic, an approach that is bearing fruit. “Using the resources available, I worked very hard to find players. I travelled backwards and forwards across Ghana for several months and drew up an initial list of 67 players, which I then brought down to 21 for the World Cup,” he explained.

“I knew exactly what I wanted for my system and I took great care in identifying only the very best attributes, paying special attention to non-technical aspects. The mental side of things and attitude were fundamental criteria when it came to picking my squad.”

That detailed approach is reflected in the Black Maidens’ team spirit. When the Africans take to the field, their discipline and fighting qualities are there for all to see, not least when they camp out on the opposition box, upping the intensity to pen their rivals in.

“Their physical fitness is the result of a lot of hard work,” said Adotey. “During our long preparations I made them do the Cooper test every week,” he added. “It involves running the longest possible distance in 12 minutes. If their performances didn’t improve from one week to the next, then I didn’t let them get away with anything.”

Adotey also had no hesitation in pitting his players against slightly younger men’s teams to prepare them for their World Cup test. “It made them push themselves. I want to see them excel themselves when things get tough,” he said with a look of sheer determination on his face, a look that reflects his inner convictions.

Ghana’s general has made his intentions clear, and his troops know exactly what they have to do against the Mexicans to ensure his carefully-laid battle plans reap yet more reward.

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