Veteran Ghanaian coach J. E. Sarpong has revealed that he had to chew roasted corn with groundnut, a popular local snack known as ‘aburo ne nkatie’ with players during his time at Great Olympics to empathize with their dire economic conditions.
J.E Sarpong revealed this in an interview with Takoradi based Skyy Power FM as he was contributing to a discussion about the relationship that must exist between a coach and his players.
Sarpong revealed that it was at a time when Great Olympics owed the players salaries, a situation that forced them to adjust to living under harsh conditions.
Sarpong highlighted the issue of unpaid salaries as a factor that can trigger player misbehavior and shared how as a coach he handled such situations.
“If players are not paid well and on time, they are easily provoked and normally display bad behavior out of frustration and bitterness,” he told told Skyy Power 93.5 FM:
“I chewed aburo ne nkatie with the likes of Prince Tagoe, Acquaye MacLean, Kwabena Asiedu, Emmanuel Sackey at Great Olympics before training sessions. I did that to commiserate with the players because they were not being paid,”
“At times coaches are afraid to engage management about unpaid salaries,” but also argued “some coaches are self-centered and don’t fight for the interests of their players,”
“They take their monies and don’t care about players. If the players find out, they are likely to sabotage you,” he concluded.
Aside Great Olympics, J.E Sarpong has handled clubs like Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko, Dawu Youngsters and Ebusua Dwarfs.
He has over 30 years of coaching experience in the country.