TALENT SPOTTER - Meet Abdul Manaf Gumah: Auroras’ midfield meteronome ready to take the world by storm Featured
08 Aug

TALENT SPOTTER - Meet Abdul Manaf Gumah: Auroras’ midfield meteronome ready to take the world by storm

Auroras is Accra Hearts of Oak’s development team and plays in Ghana’s third tier league. It isn’t the most popular club in Ghana; it may not be a club with an avalanche of silverware but when it comes to producing talents who have carved a niche for themselves as far Ghana’s football is concerned, they stand among the giants.
 
The club can boast of producing talents at all levels of the country’s men national teams. Few clubs have been blessed with the number of exceptional players that have played for the club over the last decades. They are very adept at snapping up talented youngsters and developing them into fully fledged stars under their wing. 
 
The likes of Mohammed Polo- regarded by many to be Ghana’s greatest footballer, Ofei Ansah,  Ben Kayode, Ben Adjei,Douglas Tagoe,Tanko Ayuba,Anyetei Sowah, Ezekiel Alamu,Sammy Adjei, Ishmael Addo, Francis Bossman, Laud Quartey, Malik Akowuah,Uriah Asante, Abel Manomey just to mention but a few are all products of Auroras.
 
As the motherlode of talents, hardly a year passes by without a new star emerging from Auroras. The present generation has loads of these talents but one that has consistently stolen all the attention and plaudits is Abdul Manaf Gumah.
 
Watching Auroras play is a unique experience- especially when Abdul Manaf Gumah touches the ball and the fans start shouting “Maestro,” then you know an opponent has just been outwitted. The 16- year-old deserves all the hype. He has a more subtle or deeper understanding of the geometry of the entire pitch. He is like a chess master, seeing several moves ahead, switching his pieces around the board to produce an irresistible, flowing geometry. It speaks volumes about Gumah’s potential that some were audacious to liken him to Croatian legend, Luka Modric.
 
Born and raised in Bawku, young Gumah’s talent like many other greats of the sport developed on the street with countless hours of joyful play and practice. A skinny, lively little Manaf was always seen kicking a ball around on pavements of streets of Bawku but it was actually during his days with the Bawku Senior High School that his immense talent was spotted and that earned him a place in Hon. Mahama Ayariga’s Real Bawku United team at such a very young age.
 
Talking about Real Bawku United filled him with nostalgia as he spoke to kickgh.com’s Godfred Budu Yeboah. "I had a wonderful time there.” He recalls.
 
“They gave me the opportunity to bring my talent to bear and believed in my ability considering my age and size. My stint with them was one that really benefitted my development as a footballer. I learnt a lot there and the memories still linger even though I now play for Auroras.”He chimed in
 
Despite his small size and always playing against experienced and stronger opponents, Gumah was never intimidated and grew to be the club’s poster boy with his spellbindly consistent performances. 
 
In a game against Real Tamale United (RTU), the young Gumah was enjoying what he loves to do- controlling the midfield, nutmegging his opponents and playing his attackers through with his tailored-measured passes but unbeknownst to him, eyes were watching him and one that immediately fell in love with Gumah’s display was Stephen Abugri, then assistant coach of Accra Hearts of Oak. 
 
He wasted no time in making his intentions clear and that was to get the young man to play for Accra Hearts of Oak and that was how Abdul Manaf Gumah landed in Accra to begin a career with Auroras, Hearts of Oak’s development team.
 
"It’s been a wonderful experience thus far. Although I play for Auroras, I have on several occasions trained with the senior team (Hearts of Oak) and feature for them in friendlies. It couldn’t have gotten better than that. I came to Accra to play for Hearts and I hope to realise that dream soon.”
 
He is much and stronger than what his frame suggests, and possesses ample strength to go shoulder-to-shoulder with bigger players. He is a central midfielder who enjoys sitting deep and enjoys showing off his excellent range of passing. He is always looking forward on the pitch, trying to develop attacks with brilliant through-balls. 
 
He is a good dribbler too- a true entertainer and has great stamina, and while he look like Scooby Doo in certain battles, he does have a resilient way of pressurising opponents and recovering possession.
 
Though highly talented, Gumah is still a raw product that needs polishing in many aspects, but if he sticks with his current work ethic, there is no doubt that he can become a top-class player who will dazzle fans for many years to come. 
 
“The only thing that interests me at the moment is learning as much as possible from my Coaches and senior colleagues. I must improve technically and tactically to meet the exigencies of the modern game.”
 
His temperament is outstanding and plays with maturity that belies his tender years. Improving all the time, with the right technical guidance and tutelage, it would be a travesty beyond compare if Abdul Manaf Gumah does not take the world by storm with his immense talent.
 
By: Godfred Budu Yeboah
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