Ghana Day 2: Field full of lefties

fAfter a solid night of sleep, the morning started off with a busy schedule of scouting matches at 8AM at a nearby soccer facility. Before you ask … yes, I did get my morning workout in. With the sunlight peaking just past 5:30AM, I was able to hit the pavement and get in 5 sweaty and humid miles around the area where our hotel is located. The security guard, showed me a 1 mile loop around the area, which he said was safe to run, while out on my run I saw other people running, so I figured this was a good spot to be in.

With a 7:30AM loading time of our shuttle to the field, the team representatives made our way to check out 6 teams of potential players. Over the next 3 days we will be viewing players from the following teams: Wa All Stars, Soccer Masters, Tudu Mighty Jets, Brekum Chelsea, Wa All Stars B and Wa All Stars C. Many of these players currently play in the top division here in Ghana with a few sprinkled in the first and second divisions.

Upon arrival to the field, we were greeted by the President of the Ghana Football Association. We were also accompanied by our security guard and other representatives of the Association.

Before the matches started there was a group of local school boys playing some volleyball before school, it was really cool to see how excited they were. Check the video out below.

With the matches about to get underway, we made our way to our viewing deck, which was a stage set up for us to give us some privacy but also cover us from the sunlight, too bad it didn’t protect us from the humidity! However, a nice breeze on occasion provided us some short relief. During the 5 hours out there, there were no mosquitos, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by blogging that.

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Without going into too much detail about the players who I was tracking specifically, there are some very good players out here in Ghana playing in their country league. Another thing I noticed was how many left footed players there were on the field at any given time.

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After the final whistle blew, it was time to load back onto the shuttle and grab some lunch at the hotel before throwing in a quick power nap before our evening scheduled dinner with the President. Which by the is how everyone at the field calls him, a sign of respect for who runs the Association here in Ghana.

While heading back, it was somewhat a thick of traffic, where people were hawking what they could, from ice cold drinks to fruits and other snacks. I was highly amazed at the balancing that many of these individuals did with their goodies for sale on their heads!

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With a much needed power nap, it was time to make our way to dinner with the president of the Ghana FA, along with other guest including the coaching staff of the Wa All Stars of the Ghana Premier League. Wa All Stars are located about 12 hours north of Accra, they most recently just won the Premier League title, so they were excited to share their recent successes over Chinese food …

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Our welcome dinner by the GHA President

Yes, you just read that correctly … we had Chinese food in Ghana! It was delicious. Being a vegetarian, I was very well accommodated to for the dinner.  With as much traveling for soccer I have done over the course of the last 2 decades, I can say that my 2 days here in Ghana have been amazing with the amount of hospitality the community has provided us.

Below are some photos from our dinner, where I had the opportunity to give a gift to Kwesi Nyantaki, GHA President and some other snaps from the evening.

 

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With GHA President Kwesi and the Wa All Stars technical staff

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The feast we were treated to by the GHA

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Pro soccer coaches in Ghana love selfies!

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