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Sports News of Saturday, 14 May 2016

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Shadrach Eghan fighting to recapture his pitch sorcery in Norway


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Early rise to stardom is truly challenging for youngsters and the tension of keeping up to mass expectations is demand of a butcher's price.

The heartbreak of injuries and frustrations of limited playing time and the managerial alterations may introduce twist and turns in a young player's career path.

At the tender age of 18 Shadrach Eghan had struck the limelight and was the toast of every fan at Enschede, blessing their eyes with heart-feeling artistry and glistening displaying at the De Grolsch Veste.

Blighted by injuries and documentation issues, vastly publicised in the Dutch media Eghan was left to rediscover himself as he went in search of real balance.

The Akosombo-born left Twente to join Stabaek before the start of the season in Norway, joining Ghanaian duo of Ernest Asante and Kamal Issah at the club. The duo have helped in his adapting to his new environment.

"Well the environment hasn't really change my football. Football is a universal language and I think I'm playing the same kind of football I use to play. Just that the kind of football they play is quite different from where I played. A lot of long balls."

Compared to what he did three seasons ago, warming the bench and playing second fiddle has not been part of Eghan's chemistry. In 2013 he was a regular component of Steve McClaren's symphony at Twente but is currently wrangling for playing time at Stabaek. As the 21-year-old seeks to improve his game statistics while on loan he remains confident of upping his game numbers.

"Yes I believe things are going to change sooner or later because I feel there is a kind of improvement game after game. So I'm very sure things will turn around."

Eghan arrived at Stabaek via a trial spell in Belgium with Westerlo. Though the proposed move to the Antwerp side hit the snag he had an mental memento from the trials after training and playing alongside the Dutch-born Ghanaian defender Mitch Apau.

"Yes in Westerlo they bought the same kind of player like me. That is why I could not sign for them. I really had a good contact with Apau since he is also a Ghanaian. It made it more easy for me with to do the communication well."

In December 2015, reports from the Dutch press carried largely by the Ghanaian media, claiming the Dutch FA had refused to renew the work permit of the young midfielder. Some section of the Dutch media reported Twente had been exposed to have gotten involved in a shady deal while signing the youngster from Swedish side Malmo FF. This in some part was reported to have affected his psychological make-up.

But Eghan insists most of the reports carried in the Dutch and Ghanaian media were falsified news, cooked up to attract audience.

"Most of the things they said weren't true at all. I read that I was smuggled from Malmo FF to FC Twente - which is never true. They were all false reports put out there in the media. I wanted to quickly put all those issues behind me and start playing again and that was my main concern at the time."

The facial expressed of serious denial gives way to a beaming smile as he talks about the nostalgic feeling of being the main-man of a team competing at the highest level of Dutch football. "As a teenager I really enjoyed my time in Twente. As you know things went so well and so fast and I am really happy that those moments have been part of my career as a footballer."

Footballers across the world combine the sport with religion, placing their souls and beliefs in deities to carry their lucks in the game. And, Eghan is a strong Christian. "Indeed I'm a strong Christian and I believe I am where I am because of the Grace of Jehovah God."

Growing up in Akosombo before being spotted by a talent hunter and shipped to Sweden, the young Eghan had a dream of becoming one of the best footballers in the world. At 18, Eghan was handed the opportunity to trial out in the Ghana U20 side that won Bronze at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey. But he could not make the grades. "I wasn't disappointed at all to miss out of the squad because I knew God's time is the best best.

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