12 Aug

VINCENT ATINGA: The Giant Opposing Attackers Love to Hate

It may seem surreal but the reality is Vincent Atinga is Accra Hearts of Oak's man of the moment. The joy that engulfs Atinga's heart now is understandable considering how unwanted he was; how unwanted he felt and how he almost crushed into the deepest depths of self pity and self doubt. Nothing he did on the pitch seemed to be appreciated by the followers of the club. 
These were really tumultuous times for the young lad who was tipped to provide answers to Hearts' leaking defence but with the faith of a prophet and nerves of steel,he soldiered on.
Fast forward to today, Atinga is the toast of the fans. His bromance with them could largely be likened to that of biblical David and Johnathan. The fans have taken to him now, too, awarding the 23-year-old a chant: “With Atinga,why should we fear our opponents? Atinga do something before you die.”The love is deep now! "My first two seasons with Accra Hearts of Oak were very difficult but the happenings now surprises me whenever I cast my mind back. God has done it for me. I'm glad I never lost faith.I'm very happy how far I have come. " He told kickgh.com
Born in Bolgatanga in the Northern part of Ghana, Atinga and his family relocated to Nkwanta in the Volta region to seek greener pasture. At a tender age, Atinga showed signs of promise anytime he played with friends on the grassless school park. Encouraged by friends and family, Atinga joined Colts clubs, Desert Warriors and Achimota based Manchester United before joining Unistar Academy, a second tier side where his wonderful displays attracted a lot of Ghanaian Premier League clubs but Atinga opted for Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs. 
His stint with Dwarfs is one that will be forever remembered by the towering centre-back who is occasionally used as a defensive midfielder to minimise the beatings meted to his teammates. " I had a wonderful time there." He recalls. "They gave me the opportunity to grow as a footballer. I learnt a lot there and the memory still linger." He chimed in
An imposing figure that he is, Atinga stands 6ft 5in tall. Atinga is very strong, good in the air and thrives on closely man- marking the opponent and using his reading of the game to outwit his attackers, but he also know when to get stuck in,also adept to using his body to shield the ball away from danger and also make powerful recovery when required.
Atinga has featured in every competitive game Hearts of Oak have played this season, scoring 7 goals and surprisingly without being booked by a referee. Yes- are you surprised? Atinga is yet to be yellow carded let alone receive a red card. That tells how intelligent he is as a footballer.
Atinga previously played for Ghana's U-20 and U-23 and still dreams of donning the jersey and being an integral member of the Black Stars."There is no bigger dream and honour than wearing the colours of your motherland and protecting 'her' image. It's everything! " "I am more matured now and thus ready to represent the nation at the highest level." He quipped
If Atinga continues to build on his performances and progress as a player, there's no doubt that clubs from Europe and Asia will knocking on his club's door soon.
Atinga's character is a rare one in modern football. Driven by the desire to improve but not hindered by the fear of failure, he's already good. Now, he has the chance to be outstanding and that alone should excite the Ghanaian football fraternity.
By: Godfred Budu Yeboah
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