Soccer News of Friday, 20 December 2013
Source: Graphic Online
The Turkey-based defender admitted the huge challenge the team Ghana faces in Group G but maintained that qualifying for the next stage of the competition was not insurmountable.
“I am praying that all the injured players will fully recover to enable the coach to select the best to represent the nation. With this, Ghana would have a solid all-round team to display our brand of football at the highest level in Brazil,” he assured in a telephone interview with the Graphic Sports.
He commended Ghanaian football fans for their constructive criticism which brought the best out of him after conceding a penalty against Congo in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“The outpour of criticisms by the fans after that penalty goal rather galvanised me to step up my international career,” Akaminko revealed.
“Instead of allowing the sentiments of football fans to affect me, I took them in good faith and decided to step up my training in Turkey, and today I have featured consistently for my team in the Turkey Super League and also been recalled into the national team by Coach James Kwasi Appiah and his technical team,” he noted.
Akaminko was also full of praise for the Stars’ technical team for recalling him to feature in the World Cup play-off against the Pharaohs of Egypt, saying that gave him the opportunity to make amends and also help the team to qualify for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
“I cannot say that I performed creditably during our two-leg matches against Egypt, but since I have not heard any negative criticism from football fans, I can say that they have fully endorsed my performance,” he said.
On his output in the Turkish Toto Super League, Akaminko said since the league started some months ago, he had featured full time in 14 out of 15 games for Eski ehirspor.
“Playing consistently for Eski ehirspor in 14 league matches and two cup matches this year alone is an indication that my coach has confidence in me and also likes my style of play. All these came about because I was focused and determined to appease soccer fans at home and earn a recall into the national team,” Akaminko stressed.
Eski ehirspor was currently sixth in the 18-club League with 24 points, and expressed the hope that the team would finish in a respectable position to enable them to participate in the Europa League.
He also thanked God for making it possible for him to feature consistently for his team, saying “it is by the grace of God that I have played consistently at the highest level of the Turkish league for the past two years, and I pray that God will continue to offer me the strength to compete more favourably in all major competitions.”