June 14, 2024

Laryea Kingston

The Ghanaian football scene is abuzz following the announcement by Laryea Kingston that he will be stepping down as the head coach of the Ghana U17 national team, the Black Starlets. This decision comes after the team’s disappointing performance at the WAFU U17 tournament in Accra, where they failed to reach the finals.

Kingston took full responsibility for the team’s failure to achieve their objectives in a heartfelt statement. “We did not reach the tournament’s final, a prerequisite for automatic qualification to the CAF U17 African Championship and a stepping stone to the FIFA World Cup. As the leader of the team, I take full responsibility and sincerely apologize for letting down everyone impacted by this outcome,” he said.

Kingston expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, prayers, and well-wishes from the media and the public. He acknowledged that the immense support was a result of the hard work of the technical team, the team’s playing style, and the players’ commitment to changing the recent history of Ghana’s U17 teams. Despite their efforts, the team could not repay the trust, love, and support they received from Ghanaians.

“We worked tirelessly for weeks aiming to reach the final of the WAFU tournament and compete for the ultimate prize, but it was not to be,” Kingston lamented. He also addressed rumors regarding his conduct following the semi-final defeat to Burkina Faso, clearly stating that he did not abandon the team. “During the post-match press conference, I clearly announced that my role as coach would end after the tournament. I will not act in any way that undermines the respect and support Ghanaians have given me and this team.”

Kingston extended an unreserved apology to the President and the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for any misunderstanding, inconvenience, and embarrassment caused by his decision to announce his resignation immediately after the semi-final defeat. He admitted that he could have handled the situation better and stated that this experience would serve as a guiding lesson for him in the future.

In his statement, Kingston emphasized his deep love for his nation and pride in serving as both a player and a coach. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to him by the GFA and the unwavering support from Ghanaians, his technical team, and the talented players he has had the privilege to work with.

Looking forward, Kingston is determined to end the tournament on a positive note by leading the team to victory against their rivals, Nigeria, in the bronze medal match. “We aim to finish the tournament strongly by defeating our rivals, Nigeria, to win bronze,” he concluded.

Laryea Kingston’s tenure as the head coach of the Black Starlets may have ended prematurely, but his contributions and dedication to Ghanaian football will be remembered. His sincere apology and reflections on his experience highlight his commitment to personal and professional growth and his enduring love for Ghanaian football.

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