By Peterking Quaye – The Ghana Football Association has confirmed Goran Stevanovic as the new head coach of the men’s senior team, the Black Stars and was outdoor today at an impressive ceremony in Accra at a press conference at the GFA.
The Serbian and the FA today finalised the details of his contract earlier on last week after signing a two-year contract. The 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana have appointed Serbian Goran Stevanovic as the new head coach of the four-time African champions Black Stars. The West African nation FA finalized deal with the 44-year-old gaffer on Monday and he would be unveiled on Wednesday to the press.
The Serbian was earlier rumoured to be angling for the head coach job of local team ,Kumasi Asante Kotoko some few months ago for a salary of $5,000, must have earned the appointment ahead of his European competitors because of what insiders describe as his modest demands, even though his salary demand was ahead of the venerable Ghanaian coach.
This presents Ghana for the third consecutive time appointing a Serbian coach to lead the national team coach since 2004.The former Partizan tactician is replacing his compatriot Milovan Rajevac who led Ghana to their first ever quarter-final at the global football showpiece in South Africa and resigned afterwards. Serbian coach is expected to be handed his new job at the Black Stars which will attract a monthly emolument of 35,000 Euros, approximately US$53,000. Stevanovic, a former coach of Partizan Belgrade, finished ahead of Herbert Addo and Humberto Coelho after last month’s interview for the vacant position.
The Unattached coach is said to have a huge task ahead as he replaces his Serbian brother Milovan Rajevac .The retired midfielder began his football career with Partizan Belgrade in 1983 and retired in 1999 with Panelefsiniakos. Presently, he holds a UEFA Pro Licence and commenced coaching in 2001 with Cukaricki Stamcom in the Serbian elite league.
The arrival of Stevanovic means there could be change in tactics for the Black Stars who used the rigid 4-5-1 formation under previous boss Milovan Rajevac. Gyan is confident Black Stars players will cope well with the formation to be deployed by Stevanovic as they have been playing together for a while.
Coach Goran ‘Plavi’ Stevanovic says his main target is to win the Africa Cup of Nations title with the Black Stars next year. Ghana is in a form after their recent exploits at the World Cup in South Africa where they were quarter finalists.
Between 2003 and 2006, the 44-year-old served in an assistant capacity with the Serbian and Montenegro national team that left a mark at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Thereafter, he became the assistant coach for Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade between 2007 and 2009 before being promoted as head coach. He was the assistant coach when Partizan Belgrade won two league titles and two FA Cups between 2007 and 2009. He retired upon pressure from the fans. Stevanovic is a former Yugoslav international who spent most of his playing career at Partizan Belgrade before spells at clubs in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
His career highest achievement includes, Won the Serbia league title in 2009-10 and Won the Serbia FA Cup in 2009-10. Speaking to the Press, he said “Now my biggest challenge in this job is to motivate the players to believe that they can do better – and this is very challenging because they have achieved so much,”
“The Black Stars of Ghana mirrors the country’s image and we can not play with it because it is such a very powerful tool. “It has been 30 years since Ghana last won the Africa Cup of Nations title. The Black Stars were third in 2008, second in 2010 – it is time to be first again,” Stevanovic said amid dancing and singing. He added.
According to sources close to the search committee and the executive committee, Cuello, who was once favoured for the job because of his depth of African football, settled for 70,000 Euros.
Stevanovic will be tasked to qualify Ghana for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil and go one better than the quarter-final feat chalked the 2010 finals in South Africa.
This was to ensure that they will prepare well for the crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo in March with a friendly in February. Goran has been named in time ahead of next month’s international friendly date while some monitoring must be done on the players in Europe. Ghana also has very crucial International friendlies with England in March, which many see as crucial litmus test for him .
The key Nations Cup qualifier against Congo in Brazzaville must be won otherwise qualification for the continental tournament would be left a balance.
Some players of Black Star have registered their support for the coach; one of such is striker Asamoah Gyan says Black Stars players will give their full support to their new Serbian coach Goran Stevanovic to succeed in the post.
Gyan, who has been the top scorer for the Black Stars in recent matches, say in an interview with a reliable source closed to Shout-Africa.com, made it known that the players will give off their best under Stevanovic to ensure success for the country
Ghana has not won the Africa Cup of Nations since 1982 and after finishing third in 2008 Africa Cup Nations and second last year, Stevanovic says it is time to grab the title once again.
Reporting for Shout-Africa.com is Peterking Quaye, reach him via: