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Sports News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Source: Nana Prempeh

Christopher Nettey; the panacea to Ghana's right back problems

Kotoko right back, Christopher Nettey Kotoko right back, Christopher Nettey

For some years now in the history of Ghana Football, our senior national football team, the Black Stars, have been struggling to get perfect lateral backs for the nation especially right foot back which is traditionally known as number "2".

The national teams of Ghana, especially Black Stars used to boast of great lateral backs to the extent that we had players who could play both the '2&3' positions during different games but, that can not be said about our players today after John Paintsil and Samuel Inkoom left the Black Stars.

After watching Christopher Nettey in 11 Premier League games as a Kotoko right back, I have no doubt in my mind that he is the panacea to Ghana's lateral defensive problem in this 21st Century.

In the 70s, Ghana had right backs like Dan Oppong of Asante Kotoko, Oliver Acquah, also of Kotoko, P.S.K Paha, who played for Sekondi 11 Wise. Other great right backs in the 70s whose dexterity can never be forgotten are Ofei Ansah, Philip Tagoe and Acquaye MacLean. There were other good players in such positions but there is no question that the aforementioned right backs still leave us with fond memories of the thrills that came with watching them play.

Many have held the view, and I can't help but agree, that Ghana is the Brazil of Africa in terms of football. And indeed we are, because the country is full of fascinating talents which the Black Stars Technical teams and coaches back then did help unearth and shape such brilliance in the 80s.

We had a few exceptional lateral backs within that period whose knack always excited football fanatics. Notable among them were Haruna Yusif of Kotoko, Ernest Appau, of Kotoko, Odame Ampomah of Okwahu United. Nana Eshun, who played for 11 Wise and later joined Hearts and then to Kotoko. And do not forget that all these players have one or more qualities to their credit which I will walk you through soon.

The 90s too came with its own talents – Frank Amankwah of Kumasi Asante Kotoko who was nicknamed "Bayire Ba" and Nii Darko Ankrah of Accra Great Olympics. We also saw great lateral backs like Sammy Agyei of then Gold Fields.

From the year 2000 and beyond, we witnessed the exploits of John Paintsil of Berekum Arsenal, Aziz Ansah, who was referred to by Kotoko supporters as 'Honourable Aziz Ansah', Harrison Afful, who signed for Gomoa Fete Fayenord and Kotoko's Samuel Inkoom who also manned the lateral positions of our national teams with finesse.

After these buoyant guys, Coaches who have come and gone tried to scout for equally great talents for the position the likes of Hans Edu Sarpei, Emmanuel Addoquaye Pappoe and Daniel Opare, who although not to the satisfaction of fans, did their best for our national teams.

Now, to why Christopher Nettey is the solution for our defective lateral position.

Lads like, P.S.K Paha, Haruna Yusif and Ofei Ansah demonstrated true power and some good running in the national team which won Ghana the third Nations Cup in 1978, in Accra. Guys like Philip Tagoe, Aquaye McClean, Haruna Yusif, Odame Ampomah, Nana Eshun, have power, great tackling ability and delivery of crosses. Frank Amankwah also runs very well, has great crossing skills, and the ability of handling long throws is one of his trade marks. Nii Darko Ankrah and Sammy Agyei on the other hand share almost same qualities of Frank Amankwwah.

John Paintsil, has a great interception skills, knowing where to stand at all times when a ball is played in his 18 area. He also arranges his play mates well when set pieces are against his side.

Aziz Ansah and Samuel Inkoom are great runners with crossing skills and can throw ball well and clear lines when possible.

Now, to Christopher Nettey's qualities:

A closer look at the 22 year old, who was scouted by Godwin Attram, from colts side Mighty Victories critically, reveals that he is an embodiment of almost all the qualities of the players mentioned here.

Nettey sprints well, tackles really hard, has a brilliant ball passing skill and recovers quickly anytime he surges forward to cross a ball. That's not all. The young lad intercepts bravely, constructs for his team and dribbles effortlessly for strikers.rather to fouls him.

Nettey will run for more than 90 minutes without showing any sign of fatigue. He has been extremely phenomonal since joining the Porcupine warriors in Kumasi.

I am very certain that the former Attram De Visser Soccer Academy player will do a great job when he is selected to join any of our national teams.

If you haven't watched Christopher Nettey, find time to watch any of Asante Kotoko's matches and you won't be disappointed.