Astute football scout Esme Mends has blasted “lazy” Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko for engaging in organization of “justify your inclusion” as a method to recruit players for the club.
Till date, both Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko do not have established football scouts fully engaged by the clubs to scout for talents for them both in Ghana and abroad, and Esme Mends has found that to be a major setback in modern football confronting the two great clubs. Though both Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko at times spend big in the transfer markets, their criteria for purchasing players are sometimes not strategic, sometimes resulting in mass buying. Players come in from other neighbouring countries for trials, especially at Asante Kotoko to justify why the club must give them the chance to wear the red jersey, and Hearts of Oak is no exception.
Mends, a former player of Hearts of Oak and now full scout, described that method of players coming in their numbers for trials (justify your inclusion) as a “lazy” way of recruiting players and is not doing the two big clubs any good.
“My biggest observation about Hearts and Kotoko is that they are too lazy, Hearts and Kotoko are too lazy, in the sense that, till today, the year 2020 Hearts and Kotoko are still organizing justifies, it shouldn’t be so, no! It shouldn’t be so” , Esme Mends stated, speaking in an exclusive interview with ghanasportspage.com.
According to him, both Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko are too big to engage in organizing trials for players to flood in with the mindset of justifying their capabilities before getting signed by the club.
“You are too big to invite players to come and justify themselves, I don’t believe in that. I have always preached against that. You see, you send scouts out there, you give them list of the kind of players you want. Hire people to scout players for you – give them the categories you want then they fish the players for you, they will bring in the players, that’s what they do out there (in Europe) they don’t invite thousands of players to come and play justify. Assuming 100 players come then you end up picking one, because he is playing to justify himself you pick him thinking he is good, after signing him then you realise he can’t play”, Mends entreated.
He questioned why the two clubs are not making use of former players such as former Black Stars skipper Stephen Appiah (ex Hearts of Oak player), Laryea Kingston (Ex Hearts), Samuel Osei Kuffour (Ex King Faisal, Bayern Munich) who have dept knowledge in discovering players, to scout good players for them.
“Me I’m an ex player so when I see a good player I know, someone like Stephen Appiah, our former captain, if he sees a good player he knows because he’s played with the [Roberto] Baggios and the likes so when he see a good player in a short time Stephen Appiah can tell you that this is a good player, why don’t you hire him? Give him work to do. All these ex players…Laryea Kingston have all gone through coaching coaches, why don’t you use them rather we allow the media to use them more than the clubs, because you see them on TV sharing their knowledge. Someone like Samuel Osei Kuffour of Bayern Munich fame, what role does he play in Ghana football? You see him sit in a TV studio, even South Africans tap from his knowledge”, Mends stressed.