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Sports Features of Thursday, 2 August 2018

Source: nordbayern- Florian Pohlmann

Shamrock newcomer Atanga: On a sporty journey

His story could well serve as a template for an exciting novel. One with unmistakable socio-critical undertones. If you will, David Atanga is writing the script. And at the same time, the new signing of the SpVgg Greuther Fürth wants to succeed in suppressing the disconcerting attitude.

Europe's economic entanglements in Africa are well known, but far less so that large clubs and their billions of property owners have long since stretched their feelers on the African continent.

Atanga grew up in Bolgatanga, the provincial capital in northern Ghana on the border with Burkina Faso, and was at least influenced by it.

At the age of nine, the small but quick-moving boy resisted the siren calls of the shower manufacturer from Austria, who was seeking talents for his local academy throughout Ghana. Three years later, he moved to the RB boarding school, away from the family, but with the "big dream of becoming a pro in Europe at a big club". This drives him even today - his eyes shine when he talks about this topic.

Culture shock in Austria

When he arrived in Salzburg at the age of 17, he had a cultural shock. Football in Ghana is fun above all else. "Before the games we play, sing and dance, everything is relaxed and relaxed," he says. And he sums up the biggest differences in a sentence that sounds cautious, restrained, almost timid from the mouth of the slender 21-year-old: "Here's another mentality."

He had to acquire that first, he says he is "relaxed and focused at the same time" on the pitch. But at first he barely understood a word. "Oachkatzlschwof" they taught him in Salzburg as the first word. One may imagine the faces of the smirking listeners.

He, on the other hand, interprets this point, verbally bringing the tail of a squirrel closer to a Ghanaian, even today, with some distance, as a successful joke. Maybe that's a protective reflex. Do not think too much about the "difficult situation" in his opinion, subordinate everything to sport and the declared goal.

With good performances back to Salzburg

In the Mozart city he was once a regular player, after an injury he losthis place in the starting eleven and was outside the plans of the then coach of Salzburg. He asked to be loaned out, to improve his training.

In the German second division in Heidenheim this did not work in the summer of 2016, but later, in Mattersburg and Sankt Pölten, Atanga got along well in the Austrian Elite League. Of course, he never found a sporting home during the years of wandering.

"Nevertheless, it is a good plan," says Atanga to the Salzburg transfer policy, to loan him again and again and to check from time to time whether he meets the demands of the club. "It's all up to me," the wing-winger has long since internalized this approach. "If I play well in Fürth, I'll get another chance in Salzburg." A win-win situation is called something like that. Plenty euphemistic, far from human components.