Soccer News of Saturday, 21 November 2009
Accra, Nov. 21, GNA - A Ghanaian footballer based in India, Abel Hammond is knocking at the doors of the senior national team, the Black Stars after excelling in the Indian top flight League.
Hammond, 1.84 meter tall striker who is a regular member of Kingfisher East Bengel Club, has so far played five matches and banged four goals in the League whilst winning the 'Most Valuable Player' of the Match Award on two occasions.
The striker who had a short stint with Liberty Professionals in 2007 and is an idol of the Indian Club, told the GNA Sports that he is looking forward to making a claim to the national team in the near future. The India-based striker, whose speed and skill has changed the fortunes of the Indian Club in the League, is convinced that he has so much to contribute to the success of the national team.
Hammond, 24, started his playing career at Salemi Aces Football Club, Accra, where he was spotted by officials of Accra Academy Secondary School and offered scholarship in 2000, and later signed for Saint Stars in the lower division where he had a call up into the national Under-17 team, the Black Starlets in 2001.
Upon his call to the Starlets team, Hammond was in a fix as he had an offer to play for the youth side of Brescia in Italy and after thorough reflections he traveled to Italy to seek greener pastures.
Hammond later joined Calcio formally known as Citadella in 2002, and moved on to Cologna Veneta, where he was a regular goal poacher for the team and rose to the position of the assistant captain of the team in the Italian lower league.
His playing career however came to a halt temporarily due to managerial problems, hence his decision to return home to revive his career with Premier League side, Dansoman-based Liberty Professionals in 2007. His stay with Liberty was short, as he was offered a loan deal with Mumbai FC, before securing a permanent deal with his present club. Hammond told the GNA Sports that even though his search for a position in the national team will come with a lot of challenges, he is confident of living to expectation when offered the opportunity. He debunked the assertions that playing in India is easy due to absence of a competitive league. "Playing football in India is not as easy as people believe, this is because everyone depends on us the foreign players. We work out twice a day. "As a foreign player there is a lot of pressure on you, so you have to be twice as good or more, than an Indian player to secure your position in the team. You can't afford to fail or else you will be sent home packing". He stated. 21 Nov. 09