BUDU’s CORNER: Remembering 8 Exciting Wingers That Once Dazzled In The Ghanaian Top-flight League Featured
16 May

BUDU’s CORNER: Remembering 8 Exciting Wingers That Once Dazzled In The Ghanaian Top-flight League

The footballing world is in limbo. Some leagues have restarted, some have been cancelled, some have been declared complete; Thousands of football fans all over Ghana find themselves nervously awaiting the news which could have a monumental impact on their club.
 
With the GFA uncertain on the future of the suspended Ghanaian football season, the possibility of games annulled is beginning to become an ever more realistic prospect. With a few other sporting events taking place, football fans need something to keep them going. Music; reading a book that you never got round to and playing video games scratches a hitch but it doesn’t fill the void.
 
 
And while TV channels and club's social media accounts are whiling away the hours by re-showing classic matches, why not go one further by rewinding the clock to a time when certain players hogged the headlines with talents and lit up stadiums?
 
Goals win games; it's as simple as that. The key ingredient to any recipe for football triumph, however, relies firmly on a wealth of creative talent, whose capabilities of unlocking defences are fundamental to the success of the team. 
 
There have been some exceptional wingers that have graced the Ghanaian Premier League in the last two decades, though few can rival Charles Taylor and Bernard Dong Bortey.
 
All in all these wingers deserves to be remembered for their talent, perseverance and sheer ability to go on doing their job with the same motivation despite not having being rated aptly for their talent.
 
Thus, here's a celebration of the 9 wingers that once dazzled in the Ghanaian topflight league, those who had an abundance of talent and were capable, and indeed did changed games regularly, at the very highest level.
 
Kenneth Sarpong (Okwahu United/ Hearts of Oak)
 
Kenneth Sarpong joined the Phobians after the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup from Okwahu United. 
 
He joined a Hearts that had the Sarbah brothers, Nii Noi Dowuona, Emmanuel Armah and later became a member of the famous 64 Battalions that won the league title on six consecutive occasions, the CAF Champions League and the CAF Super Cup.
 
Operating on the right- hand side, Sarpong possessed searing space, whilst displaying ball dribbling skills of the highest quality as they put defence after defence to the sword.
 
Lawrence Adjei (Goldfields/Asante Kotoko/Hearts of Oak)
 
Adjei started his play-for-pay career with Obuasi Goldfields now rechristened Ashanti Gold SC. He was an integral member of the Obuasi Goldfields side that lost Moroccan outfit; Raja Casablanca in the finals of the 1997 CAF Champions League. 
 
A move to Asante Kotoko SC followed before seeking greener pastures in Russia and Germany and returned to the country to play for Hearts of Oak with whom he won the CAF Confederations Cup in 2005.
 
He made the lives of many full-backs a living hell with his incredible on the ball ability; terrorising defences with his blistering pace and superb crossing ability.
 
 
Joe Louis (King Faisal /Great Olympics /Asante Kotoko/ /Hearts of Oak)
 
Does the name ring a bell? Elegance, finesse, vision and touch were areas of the game that he excelled in, with his eye for goal another symbolic feature of the danger he posed from the flanks. 
 
He was a diminutive but explosive wide man with quick feet, fantastic acceleration and the ability to score and create goals.
 
Only persistent injury problems prevented Joe Louis from achieving a lot in his career, but when fit, there weren’t many wingers in the country who were better than him in his heydays. 
 
It is no exaggeration to say he was among the best and most certainly among the most effective wide players in the country.
 
Ben Wilson (King Faisal FC)
 
Another diminutive winger, Ben Wilson joined the Kumasi club after a failed move to Anderlecht. He was among the finest wide players in the league. 
 
Incredibly quick and brilliant on the ball, at the peak of his powers, Wilson was a real joy to watch, full of invention and capable of scoring goals at will.
 
His close control and a burst of acceleration were enough to give any full-back nightmares. He had excellent movement and always carved out chances for himself, but like the vast majority of players, he did look so much more dangerous when he had confidence coursing through his veins. 
 
Michael Osei (Ebusua Dwarfs/ Asante Kotoko)
 
His ball retention and ability to weave out of tight situations made him a key player in the Kotoko setup. He had the capabilities to carve defences open at the drop of a hat, and vision in the final third (or indeed anywhere) that stands head and shoulders above most of the wingers at the time. 
 
His direct running and exquisite footwork caused many defenders trouble.
 
He was a delight to watch at full flight. Whether he was cutting inside from the right to curl shots deliciously into the top corner or theatrically winning his side penalties, the tricky winger was absolute box office.
 
Michael Ofosu Amoah (Ashanti Gold SC/Asante Kotoko/ Heart of Lions)
 
He could beat players at will with his pace and dribbling and had a keen eye for goal as well and he was always willing to try and make something happen for his sides. 
Tico Tico as he was affectionately known among the football circles was a brilliant dribbler of the ball; he could create goals, score goals and had an impressive work rate.
 
It was Amoah’s pace, directness and sheer willingness to run at players that frightens the life out of defenders. 
 
Though he tends to play from the left, the right-footed Amoah was more than at home on that particular flank, looking to drive at defenders before either coming inside onto his favoured foot to shoot at goal or play one-two's with a frontman or to utilise his pace and dribbling ability on the outside and swing crosses into the box.
 
Solomon Asante (Fetteh Feyenoord/ Berekum Chelsea)
 
The tricky winger started learning the rope at the Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord Academy now rechristened West African Football Academy.
 
He earned a move to Burkina Faso to join ASFA Yennenga where he won the league title and was one-two occasions emerged the top scorer of the league. He returned to Ghana to play for Berekum Chelsea.
 
The stalwart Asante is known for his valiant work-rate, bursting past defenders on the wing and providing sumptuous crosses into the attackers. Quick, direct, and someone who liked to stretch opposing defences both from a horizontal and a vertical perspective.
 
While he is very much an orthodox right-winger, the Phoenix Rising FC star has added different layers to his game in recent years, showing a greater willingness to offer an option tucking in off the flank, as well as occasionally looking to break closer to his strikers.
 
Douglas Nkrumah (Power FC/Asante KotokoHearts of Oak
 
The only left-footed player in our list, Nkrumah’s dynamic combination of pace, power and individual fantasy saw him excel at Ghana’s footballing behemoths; Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko. 
 
He also had the happy knack of arriving in the penalty area at just the right moment to complete moves which had built up on the opposite side of the pitch.
 
He was a player with wonderful grace and style about him, the ability to either bamboozle defenders through a piece of technical brilliance or to simply storm past people with impressive acceleration. 
 
His dribbling was fantastic; he was an intelligent passer and had a solid knack of evading strong challenges while keeping possession.
 
Theophilus Anobaah (Ashanti Gold SC/ Medeama SC)
 
It has been a rollercoaster ride of a career for Theophilus Anobaah, but anyone who denies that he has been among the best wingers to play in the league over the last two decades is deluding themselves.
 
A glorious talent blessed with a host of flicks, tricks and touches designed to bamboozle opposing defenders.
 
However, that's not to say that Anobaah was a mere individualist. For while his greatest talent—that of dribbling—is indeed a solo pursuit, the purpose was always clear and it was often the best option for him at that particular moment. In that respect, Anobaah always played with smart intelligence and a clear picture at the forefront of his mind.
 
Capable of playing on either wing, with two good feet and an equal propensity for both ducking inside or driving to the byline, he was a nightmare for defenders to second guess when the ball is at his feet. 
 
But it was his off-the-ball movement—a horizontal movement to create overloads or find space and vertical running which stretched and exposed teams in behind—which made him such an important member to both.
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