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Players Abroad of Friday, 13 February 2009

Source: By Dave Seddon

'Olele' happy With "Benchwarming" Role

Richard Kingson might only be Wigan's third-choice keeper, but he can boast more international experience than anyone else at the club.
The 30-year-old has 74 caps for Ghana, helping them reach the knockout stages of the World Cup in 2006 and the African Nations Cup semi-final last year.
He can also boast to be one of the few keepers to have scored a goal at international level, netting a far-post header against Tanzania.
This week, Kingson found himself in opposition to Latics team-mate Amr Zaki when Ghana visited Egypt for a friendly.
The clash in Cairo ended in a 2-2 draw, Kingson perhaps having more to smile about after Zaki failed to get on the scoresheet.
Wednesday's game was a warm-up for Ghana and Egypt ahead of the start of the third and final stage of their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Both countries have already reached next January's African Nations Cup in Angola, now they're targeting a trip to South Africa later in the year.
Kingson said: "It was good to play against Zaki this week, it's fun when you face someone from your own club in an international match. "It makes you a little bit more determined to do well, and I'm sure we'll have a chat about the game when we're back at Wigan.
"I've got my sights playing on the World Cup next year, and in our qualifying group we have Benin, Sudan and Mali. "The winner of the group goes to South Africa, I really hope it will be us.
"I played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Ghana got to the second round before getting knocked out by Brazil. "But we beat the Czech Republic and the United States in the group stages, it was a very good experience."
Kingson became a Latics player last September, the keeper a free agent at the time having been released by Birmingham. He'd been branded a 'waste of space' by Birmingham City owner Richard Sullivan following just three appearances last season, which saw the Blues relegated.
But that bitter comment didn't put off Steve Bruce from signing him for a second time, after bringing him to St Andrews. Kingson had caught his eye while playing on loan for Swedish club Hammarby, the majority of the keeper's club football having previously come in Turkey, where he played for six clubs. He also has a Turkish passport.
Chances for him have been few and far between at Latics, credited with just one start – in the FA Cup at Tottenham in January. He's been on the bench nine times for league games, with Bruce rotating him and Mike Pollitt as back-up to Chris Kirkland.
Kingson is prepared to be patient though, and said: "I'm happy here even though I'm still waiting for my big chance. "To be training with such a good squad of players is great. This is a happy club, with all the players getting on well together.
"We share jokes off the pitch, but work very hard on the training ground to make sure we do well in matches. "Being a goalkeeper is difficult because obviously only one of you can play. It's not like other positions.
"There's strong competition here, with three goalkeepers, and I'll have to work so that if my chance comes I can take it."