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Akaminko is an example for GH footballers

Jerry  Akaminko

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

After being overlooked for selection in as many as 13 matches involving the Black Stars despite featuring consistently for his club Eskisehirspor in Turkey due to his ‘blunder’ against DR Congo at the African Cup of Nations in South Africa, Jerry took his second chance as a true professional and helped Ghana reach the cup.

Having followed him from his days at Kpando Hearts of Lions and his exploits inh the various stages of our national teams was not amazed by the performances he put up in the two leg games against the continent’s most successful national team.

He has been our best defender at club level over the past one playing week in week out in one of Europe’s most competitive league- Turkish Super League.

What amazes me most is his conduct during the times he was overlooked despite meeting all the selection requirements into the Black Stars.

Unlike many players who resort to unnecessary nagging and complaining in times like this, Jerry bided his time, went about his duties at club level very well until his chance came.

As much as the handlers of the national team could have done better in his case, the player’s attitude whilst ostracized made it extremely easy for his recall back to the team.

Jerry Akaminko personally wrote letters and articles under his name for publication to edge the team on for victory in crucial matches, assert his readiness to represent the nation whenever called upon and even declared himself the number one fun of the team.

I do not want to think it was easy for him during that time, but the pure class with which he dealt with it is what struck me given the history and conduct of many players who found themselves in a similar situation in the past and how they dealt with it.

His respect for the handlers of the team and decision to fight his way back to the team by proving himself worthy of another chance with world class performances from his club, instead of the usual insinuation of fowl-play and rumor mongering is an example for our players to emulate.

It must however be noted that the handlers of our national team could have Implored an efficient man-management strategies to build the confidence of the player instead of almost banishing him almost indefinitely for that singular mistake which was a result of excessive pressure on a team that churned out it’s most mediocre performance in recent memory.

The nation benefitted from Jerry’s mental toughness and determination but we can do better in the long-term.

It must be noted that the nation needed him at the most crucial time and had he yielded to the enormous pressure involved in returning on the back of his history with the team, the nation would have payed the ultimate price with the world cup as the cost.

Its about time we learn how to manage our player in their down times and give them the necessary psychological and confidence boost even after they have made grave mistakes.

The nation was left off the hook by Jerry’s ingenuity, hard work, confidence and professionalism but we cannot always eat our cake and have it.

The players are humans too and can have bad days just us we all do have periodically, on such days, as a nation, lets stand behind them and help them to their feet to enable them quickly regain their confidence for the challenges ahead.

They love the nation as much as we all do and give their utmost for the nation when called upon. Dede is sidelined for two months for his part in the nation’s bid to play in Brazil; Essien’s career has been greatly affected by his major injuries on national assignment.

They pay dearly in attempt to defend the colors but whenever in the performance of this duty they make mistake, we never hesitate to hold their throat.

From henceforth, whoever is faultless should cast the first stone.

Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh