Ghanaian, although a football loving people, are living with so many avoidable challenges in the sport which don’t seem to be departing from us anytime soon.
One would obviously pity the magnanimous ones who have taken the pain to develop young talents in the country amidst all these challenges. A venture, that usually sees most of the children develop into international soccer stars, but don’t add significantly to the pockets of bearers of such dreams.
One major challenge facing juvenile football in Ghana has to do with poor pitches. But for public basic schools, most communities wouldn’t have their own football parks. Those who have theirs apart from school parks rarely maintain them.
The Kotei community park in the Oforikrom Constituency, Kumasi Metropolis, happens to be one of such parks. It doubles as a football park and a funeral ground for the residents. Interestingly, competitive events like annual inter community gala are played there, yet leaders seem to be oblivious of the need for maintenance.
Mr. Addai, the manager of NAMDEC FC, explains the ordeal he goes through all the time to put the Kotei community park in shape, besides the financial expenditure he incurs on the children he handles as players.
We have no sponsorship. I buy all the balls and boots for the children. All this come from my pocket. This pitch too is the best you can get in this community. Even during Christmas time, the community holds a gala competition here, but I prepare the park by weeding the grass for them at no cost. They also perform funeral rites here – Mr. Addai said.
Kamara of Asokwa Diportivo and Master Yakubu of Industrial Stars are well known names in the development of young football talents in the Kumasi Metropolis. They also had to and still contend with such poor pitches. Kwadwo Asomoah, Samuel Osei Kufour, and some members of the current Under 17 squad in India have all benefited from the sacrifices of such managers. We really don’t need more words to explain to the GFA or Ministry of Sports why they should come to the aid of these selfless men.
By Douglas Marfo /@Herosportgh