Soccer News of Saturday, 8 October 2016
Most Ghanaians are still living the nostalgic days of Sammy Adjei and Richard Kingson despite the two heroes fading out of the scene.
Adjei left an indelible mark in the heart of his fans who still praise him for his goalkeeping qualities and charisma required for the job. He was a safe-hand anytime he manned the post for the Black Stars. While Richard Kingson proved himself at various international levels, playing in the English Premier League with Blackpool, Wigan and Birmingham City. With his presence Ghana had international command, excelling at two FIFA World Cup tournaments.
However their loss seems to be an everlasting loss to Ghana’s main national as neither Adam Kwarasey and Razak Brimah looks ready to take charge.
But the SIX young guns below, picked by our writer El Akyereko, have massive potentials to provide comfort in between the sticks for the Black Stars.
Check out the keepers below.
Abdulmanaf Nurudeen – Aspire Academy (Qatar)
The 17-year-old has represented Ghana at U17 level, playing for the Black Starlets in the 2015 WAFU U17 Championship and featuring for the West African giants in the African U17 Championship qualifiers in the game. Scouted in Ghana by the Qatari-based Academy side, the promising youngster has gone ahead to excel in various youth international tournaments for Aspire Academy Qatar. Manaf has won laurels in the Mediterranean International Cup since debuting in 2013, winning best goalkeeper award in 2013 and 2015. His agility and Athleticism has been likened to Cameroon’s Carlos Kameni. His exposure at his tender age includes meeting world football icons including Man City manager Pep Guardiola, Mario Gotze, Mesut Ozil and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Manaf is tipped to become an internationally recognised shot-stopper.
Corey Addai – Coventry City (England)
He turns 19 in two days time. City beat a host of rival clubs to land the burgeoning talent from Arsenal in 2014. Addai, born to Ghanaian father in England has gone ahead to make regular bench appearances for the Sky Blues though he remains the first-choice in the U23 Premier League for City. Many talent watchers in England have raved about the promise and brilliance of the young goalkeeper. He has been itching to draw the attention of Ghana’s technical handlers however he needs to work to earn a debut for City.
Prince Asempa – Bechem United (Ghana)
The 16-year-old was in goal for Bechem United and helped them to clinch the Ghanaian FA Cup title, beating Okwahu United in the grand finale. Asempa’s talent and precocity has surprise many who are amused by his talent. Despite his tender age, he possesses all the required matured qualities needed to excel at the highest level. He has learnt basic rudiments needed to excel – he knows when to start attacks, quality distribution skills and his reflexes and agility is ranked number one on the local scene at his age. Unlike most African players with controversy surrounding their ages, Asempa is truly a kid. He is still a Senior High School student in Bechem. He is officially the youngest ever player to play in a Ghana FA Cup final since inception.
Razak Abalora – West Africa Football Academy (Ghana)
One of the most talented players witnessed in the Ghana Premier League in the just ended season. Produced a string of outstanding performances for WAFA who finished 6th in the 2016 Ghana Premier League season. He has been courted by a number of clubs on the Ghanaian scene including giants Hearts of Oak who have been linked to him on a number of occasions. At 20 years, Abalora has risen quickly to the highest level of Premier League football and could become the Ghanaian league’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, who forced the experienced former Real Madrid custodian – Diego Lopez from Milan, if he joins Hearts of Oak. His name has strongly be in contention for a Black Stars call up.
Lawrence Ati-Zigi – Liefering (Austria)
Made a strong case for a full Ghana cap when he played for Ghana’s U20 side at the 2015 U20 tournament in New Zealand. His performance against Argentina at the tournament still remains a cherishing memory. The Red Bull Salzburg glovesman is gifted with the stature and reflexes required for the job he does. At 19, Ati-Zigi commands starting role at Liefering – Salzburg’s Team B, who play and league the Austrian second-tier league table. With the Black Stars’ goalkeeper department looking shaky while Rosenborg BK’s Adam Kwarasey and Razak Brimah do not look fit to make Ghanaians feel safe about their Black Stars’ goalkeeping department, Avram Grant needs to turn attention to the former Sogakope Red Bulls Academy product.
Richmond Ayi – Techiman City FC (Ghana)
Called to duty in the Ghana Premier League following injuries to Techiman City first and second choices, Ayi wowed many with his stupendous performance in between the sticks. The 19-year-old featured 14 times for City who have been relegated from the Ghanaian top-flight. Despite City’s poor string of results in the second-half of the second, Ayi distinguished himself at his role and earned the praise of many commentators who watched him excelled in matches, producing many world class saves. Ayi could be snapped by a Premier League club.