Bashir Hayford, Prince Owusu & the top five local coaches suitable for the Black Satellites job

As the GFA hunts for a substantive coach for the national Under-20 side following Orlando Wellington’s resignation, Ghana shares its list of the top names who deserve it
By Joshua Ansah & Umar-Farouk Atipaga

The national Under-20 team is in the hands of a stand-in coach following the resignation of Orlando Wellington.

The assistant coach of the Black Stars Maxwell Konadu is holding the fort and he is being assisted by C.K Akunnor and Prince Yaw Owusu to help the Black Satellites restore their sinking image.

Wellington, a former Berekum Chelsea coach, who doubled as assistant to Sellas Tetteh during the 2009 World Youth Championships in Egypt, did not have the best of spells since he took over from the Liberty Professionals technical director.

As the Ghana Football Association goes to the market to shop for a substantive coach, Ghana presents five local ones who have proven themselves on the touchline in the domestic leagues and must be considered. 


He is a product of the famous Winneba Sports College. Yusif Abububakar was Bashir Hayford’s assistant at Medeama until late in the season when Wassaman United sought his services in a bid to avoid relegation. Though he managed to steady the ship most of the damage had already been done and they missed out on safety by two points. He, however, managed to take them far in the FA Cup and recently qualified them to the semi-finals after beating Tema Youth.

Yusif is a young and energetic coach with a lot of enthusiasm for the game and has shown the potential to be a very good manager with his performance at Wassaman proving he may be ready for a big break after playing a part in coach Hayford’s success at Medeama last season, as well as coach Orlando Wellington’s title winning Berekum Chelsea side two seasons ago. He will bring zeal to the team if appointed as well as a famed eye for spotting and developing young talent.


He is a former Real Sociedad player and an ex-Ghana international who is currently taking care of Ashgold. It is expected though that he will be offered the job on a full time basis after turning the team around and lifting them from a relegation battle to a second place finish in last season’s top flight campaign. He won 10 with five draws and lost just three of 18 league matches in charge.

He also led them to the finals of the FA Cup where they await their yet-to-be-decided opponents. Acheampong has shown with his performances over the season a steely resolve and determination as well as the ability to make things work. He lost two of his first three matches in charge, but only lost one of the next 15 to turn his team’s season around. His ability and determination may just be a perfect fit for the junior national team if he is appointed.


Popularly referred to as Tony Lokko, the tough speaking manager cut his managerial teeth at Tema Youth as assistant to then head coach Isaac Boateng and was promoted to the top after the latter left. He later left following a fallout with the management.

He returned to the second-tier division to take charge of Amidaus Professionals and has led them to the top spot in Zone 3A of the ongoing division one league.

He also managed to take his unfancied Amidaus side to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup where they lost to Caf Champions League participants Berekum Chelsea. He caused the upset of the tournament in the previous round by beating newly-crowned league champions Asante Kotoko two goals to nothing.   

Lokko comes across as a very good motivator capable of bringing the best out of his players and getting through sticky situations. If he is to get the job, the former GHAPOHA defender will relish the challenge of turning the team’s fortunes around for the better.


He is the most experienced coach on the ‘wanted list.’ Hayford won the league with Asante Kotoko and was also a former coach of the Black Queens and the Black Starlets. He is currently the head coach of Medeama Sporting Club – a side he led to a fourth place finish in the just ended Ghana Premier League.

Coach Hayford brings with him a wealth of experience both in dealing with youngsters and established players. ‘Bash’ as he is sometimes referred to has handled several stars both at youth and senior levels and knows how to groom players for the big stage.

He knows what it takes to succeed and having experienced varying degrees of success during his previous stints with the national teams will bring with him a desire to succeed and a doggedness that characterises his teams.

He is currently the head coach of Premier League side Tema Youth and is regarded by many as the favourite among the lot for the job. The manager gained rave reviews after keeping a very young Tema Youth team afloat on their return to the domestic top flight and is admired for how much he managed to get out of the youngsters. He is also the manager and bankroller of second-tier side Prampram United who are also a very young group.

Owusu has worked with some of the nation’s best players at their formative ages. The likes of Rahim, Andre and Jordan Ayew all passed through his hands at Nania and three of his Prampram prodigies had trials at Liverpool earlier this year.

He brings a wealth of experience with regards to dealing with young players and certainly has an eye for them. He also had a hand in the grooming of Isaac Coffie (Chievo) Joseph Duncan (Inter Milan) and Edmund Hottor (AC Milan).