Sports Features Mon, 15 May 2017

Best 11 players of the 2017 GPL first round

WAFA are on top of the league but have just two players on this list. Why? Well because WAFA really have a team and their high flying campaign is built on that great team play rather than fielding individually superior players. They play as compact unit. They do not depend on individual play so much.

The topscorer of WAFA is Daniel Lomotey who has scored 5 goals so far but Liberty Professional’s Samuel Sarfo a defender has more ( 6 goals). You will have started understanding the point I am trying to make here.

Hearts of Oak provide three players in the team. Berekum Chelsea give us two players whilst Kumasi Asante Kotoko is represented by only one player. Surprised?

What changes will you make in my team?


Felix Annan – Asante Kotoko

The seven clean sheets to his credit this season is the most by any goalkeeper in the league. The last few days have been difficult for the Kotoko keeper but in totality the great saves he has made especially in the away games against Berekum Chelsea and Ashantigold are some of his high points. It will be cruel for me to only look at Felix’s bad days. He’s equally had some good games.

Right back

Godfred Saka – Aduana Stars

Always among the best full backs in the league since 2009, Saka has never gone out of the first team of Aduana Stars. His position as undisputed starter at right back for the club still remains. He is the best attacking right back in the country with more than 4 assists delivered from his boots and he has showed great level of consistency in his game. To be frank, not even the Black Stars right back Harrison Afful compare to Saka on this quality of going forward as a full back. When he motors down the right flank of the Ogya side he is always a delight to watch. An excellent corner kick taker. …A free-kick genius and above all a good penalty executioner. Oh boy ! Amankwa Caleb of WAFA is another excellent number 2 this season but he is not lucky as he comes up against the Dani Alves of the Ghana premier league for this spot.

Left back

Justice Anane – Berekum Chelsea

He is the most underrated full -back in the league, Justice Anane…Not many give him the hype other players get..His industry is super… He has golden health as he is always fit..Hardly gets injured and rued out.. Always there for Berekum Chelsea at the left side. He almost joined Hearts of Oak couple of seasons ago after he trained with the first team. It was tough decision deciding between Daniel Darkwa but I settled on Anane.

Center back

Vincent Atingah – Hearts of Oak

Scored the penalty that won his side the biggest game in the first half of the season – the Heats of Oak vs Kotoko game. The giant defender has been there for his side this season and with injuries not friendly with Inusah Musah, Atingah has taken charge of things at the back of the Phobian side. It was easy for me to decide here.

Center back

Samuel Sarfo – Liberty Professionals

His record as the highest scoring defender in the league with 6 goals is a vital consideration when the Liberty captain is pitted against likes of Wahab Adams and Nicholas Opoku. Subjectively I have always liked defenders who defend well and score also. I am marveled Sarfo has become a goalscoring defender all of a sudden. That is something great for any defender. You know Mr. Sergio Ramos?

Central midfield

Gideon Waja – WAFA

Young Waja has not only been effective for WAFA on the pitch but outside it also. He has provided good leadership for his teammates skippering them to a very remarkable first half of the league season. How many people thought WAFA would be leading the league by the 14th Week ? Very few or none. I like Waja for his vision in the game. How he is able to send those through and clever balls to his forward players whilst still still sitting deep in his midfield position. He is not the type of number six that will fly into tackles and receive bookings for dirty play. His style is different. I picked Waja ahead of Elvis Opoku of Aduana Stars for this role because of WAFA’s super season that saw their 6-game winning streak broken by Hearts of Oak in Accra on Monday afternoon.

Right wing

Daniel Lomotey – WAFA

Not successful in his bid to be crowned NASCO player of the month of April that saw him score score four goals in that period. Amos Addai of Ashantigold, Emmanuel Gyamfi of Kotoko, Seth Larbi Appiah of Berekum Chelsea and Sam Adams of Aduana Stars competed with Lomotey for this position. Lomotey had it for me for his 5 goals which is the most among these attacking players. Lomotey is capable of playing upfront as the a main striker and equally does the job when he opens up to the wings.

Left wing

Thomas Abbey – Hearts of Oak

For me he is a serious player of the season contender, Thomas Abbey. He is the most experienced player on this team and that he has used to lift his Hearts of Oak side this season netting some four goals and grabbing couple of assists. He leads by example and his influence in the Phobia team has been so crucial for Frank Nuttall’ side. He is largely my favorite player in the 2017 league so far. Cobbinah might be scoring but what Abbey gives Hearts of Oak, no other player offer them that this season. Leardership, goals, assists and consistency. Go on and mention them.

Attacking midfield

Winful Cobbinah – Hearts of Oak

He used just 9 games to force me to pick him on this team and I had no option. Was declared eligible to play from Week 6 of the league as his ITC issues from Saudi Arabia got sorted out and it did not take long for Cobbinah to announce his presence in the league. I was in Berekum for the Chelsea vs Hearts of Oak game in April and was amazingly thrilled by his second half display at the Golden City park to the extent that the home fans spent time applauding and mobbing him after the game instead of greeting their own Berekum Chelsea players for winning the game 1-0. Stepeh Sarfo who scored the goal for Chelsea walked alone to the dressing room as the home fans line up to have a closer view of Cobbinah.

I am convinced another foreign club will soon come calling for the playmaker thanks to the wonderful football he is playing at the moment. His stats stand at 6 assists and 2 goals after Week 14. Instant Impact.

Center forward

Stephen Sarfo – Berekum Chelsea

Spent the last two seasons with Berekum Arsenal in the Division one where he scored some good number of goals that could still not get Arsenals promoted to the elite league and his hot form prompted city rivals Berekum Chelsea to go in for his services and that has proven to be a successful transfer. Sarfo won the NASCO player of the month of April for the first time the award is given. His 6 goals netted is spectacular looking at the lower division he is coming from to make his premier league debut.

Center forward

Nicholas Gyan – Ebusua Dwarfs

Leading topscorer of the league should not miss the best eleven players drawn from it. The list will be incomplete without Nicholas Gyan who has been scoring on daily basis for an average Dwarfs side that keeps a low budget. He has exceeded expectations from the Dwarfs fans. When you play for Dwarfs you are not expected to be topscorer but Gyan currently is. I attended the Dwarfs 1 Hearts of Oak 1 game in Cape Coast stadium in February and one of the 8 goals of Gyan came from that game and it is a reference goal. A second half sumptuous equalizer that won his side a home point.


Klavs Rasmussen started mainstream coaching in 1982 but this is his first job on the African continent and after 14 matches his WAFA side lead the table with 29 points. Whether he could still preserve his lead to win the title is something to be known in the future but at present the Dannish trainer has done the an impressive job and it is hard by me to look beyond the whiteman. Likes of Yusif Abubakar of Aduana Stars and Steve Polak at Berekum Chelsea know the Ghana league already whilst Rasmussen is a greenhorn in the Ghanaian championship.

Source: Gariba Raubil
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