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Soccer News of Saturday, 13 January 2007

Source: Truemamamia

Bennard Kumordzi: A Rising Star

I want to play for my Motherland
The name Bennard Yao Kumordzi may not be popular within Ghanaian Football circles however this name is beginning to ring bells in Greek Football. Born Bennard Yao Kumordzi on the 21st of March 1985, the native of Klagon (near Lashibi) in the Greater Accra Region is living no stone unturned in his bid to represent Ghana at the 2008 Olympic games.

The number 14 man of Egaleo Fc (Greek Premiesrhip) started his career, playing street football at klagon before being snapped up by Division 3 side Supreme Fc. He barely played 3 league matches as a defender before he travelled to Europe for a number of unsuccessful trials. Despite the initial setback, the determined 21 year old settled for Swedish Division 6 Club, FC Norrkoping where he became an instant hit playing as an offensive midfielder. The converted midfielder was the toast of fans as he netted 17 goals in 11 matches.

Six months later his ambitions were bigger than that of his modest club. Unknown to him, Stefan Hellberg, the then coach of IFK Norrkoping, the biggest club in the city of Norrkoping,happened to be at Division 6 games and was highly impressed with him. Within months came the shocking transfer of Kumordzi to IFK Norkoping (a Suprettan side-Swedish second level). At IFK Nork?pping, playing as a forward, he scored 9 goals in 14 matches (including Cup Matches). However, his stay there was marked by contractural disputes from his transfer from Division 6 to the Suprettan side. Barely one year after arriving there, fans looked on sadly as he packed bag and baggage and headed for Greece. He landed a deal with Black Stars defender Daniel Edusei?s Egaleo Fc

Currently at Egaleo he is playing in his favourite offensive midfield position.This season, he has played 10 games so far, and after his first game which he came from the bench, his impressive form has landed him a place in the starting line up. LINK

Yours truly caught up with this rising talent, and a variety of issues were discussed. He explained that his rapid adaptation to Greek football came with the help of Daniel Edusei his team mate and the strong bond with Black Stars players like Edusei,kofi Amponsah, Peter Ofori-Quaye and 1999 World U-17 star Kwame Pele-Frimpong helped him to feel at ?home?.

Godwin Antwi, Ghana?s liverpool starlet stayed in Spain for only 2 years but was just enough to fast-track him into the the Spanish U-19 National Team. This writer sought to find out his reaction in case Greece comes calling. He was firm, ?No I won?t. I had a Swedish girlfriend and she convinced me to get a Swedish passport so i that I could play for one of the Swedish junior sides but i rejected it. I want to play for Ghana my motherland.? He also explained that it is hard to judge the decisions of the Antwis, Harpers, and Mustaphas who rejected Ghana because the temptation from the European Countries is really dificult to resist however it is up to the GFA to start being proactive and also ?Catch our youngsters young and Cap them before the European Countries?.

He also confessed that his burning desire to play for Ghana stems from his interaction with senior Ghanaian players in the Greek League. ? Dan Edusei told me that there?s nothing in football like playing for ones national team.A lot of pride even if winning bonuses are not given? he said. In a message to the Meteors Technical Bench, he confidently declared, ? I am eligible to play for the Meteors.I don?t need to brag about my football abilities but I would urge you to try me. At least being a regular in Greek top flight is a good sign to show my abilities.

Bennard is 1.86m tall and weighs 76 kilos. He is a player with silky and elusive skills . His height is a major factor with aerial dominance being one of his major qualities. He also has the ability to read the game from midfield giving him some sort of control over most games. Bennard is a good passer of the ball and can also shoot from distance. He opened his account in his third game in the Greek Premiershi. His Second Goal(December) here
Watch goal

As at the time of sending in this article, reports from Greece indicate that he scored for Egaleo in their win against Ergotelis(this Sunday). Bennard recognizes that his football career is quite young and still has a long way to go. He believes that playing against the likes of Olympiakos, Panaithinaikos, AEK Athens etc is toughening him as a footballer, however he has bigger dreams. ?Playing in the World Cup for my country is my biggest dream. I will continue to work hard to make it into the Olympic Team and from there I can move onto the next stage. I dream of playing in one of the TOP 20 teams in the World?

Well this dream may not be as far as Bennard probably thought. In the Greek and Swedish Media, he is being linked to Bayer Leverkusen

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Ghana is blessed, we have talented players spread all over the World but it is left with us to tap them and utilize them to our advantage. Like Bennard suggested, the GFA would have to be PROACTIVE and AGGRESSIVE when it comes to these talents. Ghana should work hard on capping the youngsters like Bennard Kumordzi. When Godwin Antwi accepted to play for Spain, he declared ?I am under no illusion. I am only 18 years old and I know that Ghana will not call me up now. I just want to play Football? . Yes this is a sad case. I agree he wasnt ready for the B.Stars and neither is he for the Spanish. The difference is that they have foresight and are looking to cap him for their future plans. What prevented us from calling up Antwi for our U-20 team that got kicked out recently in the African Qualifiers? Emmanuel Boakye recently declared that despite having Dutch passport, his loyalty lies with Ghana. Has the GFA contacted him to discuss his probable future with the Ghanaian National Team?

The Olympic games is just around the corner. I will appeal to the authorities, to widen the net in the selection policy. In the bid to mount a super talented Olympic squad we shouldn?t forget our foreign based talents too. Apart from talented Bennard, players like Prince Tagoe(Al Shaab), Nana Asare(captain of KV Melchelen), Emmanuel Boakye (Heracles Almelo), Andre Ayew(Marseille), Abubakari (Feyenoord) should be duely monitored and integrated to the locally based squad.
If what Bennard?s performance so far in the Greek Premiership is anything to go by, then I say bookmark this name. We would probably hear more of him.

Credit to Victor Vaness for setting up the Interview)