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Sports Features of Sunday, 17 February 2008

Source: Peter Young

In Defense of Sly Tetteh

Sly Tetteh started his football career as a footballer playing for Sekondi Hassacas in the 1970s under his uncle Mr. Nartey then the chairman of Hassacas. He traveled to the USA after his playing career in the 1980s.

He returned to Ghana in the 1990s to start Liberty academy together with some of his friends, including Dada Ansong.

They employed good coaches, which included Silas Tetteh his younger brother and Sir Cecil Jones Attoquafio a celebrated coach who had worked with Accra Great Olympics, Accra Hearts of Oats and almost all the national teams. They went around the country looking for young talented Ghanaian footballers. They housed some of these players in their private homes, paid school fees for some of them and provided their needs. Their effort over the years paid off by unearthing amazing talents for all the Ghanaian national teams including Michael Essien, Asamoah-Gyan, Baffour-Gyan, Emmanuel Addoqua-Pappoe, Kwadwo Asamoah, kwame Obeng-Darko, Eric Bekoe(current leading goal scorer in the Ghanaian premier league), Michael Helegbey (the current captain of the national under 23 soccer squad), etc.

Their young and talented team qualified to play in the Ghana profession/premier football league in the mid 1990s as Liberty Professionals. They have done very well since joining the top league in Ghana soccer. They continue to sign and maintain the best coaches, players and put the right structures in place.

They are the first private owned football team in Ghana to own their own guest house, a sports gym and a football field. No wonder they keep producing all the good football materials for the national teams.

They are one of the few football clubs in Ghana that seems to ensure they get the right foreign contract for their players. Most of Ghana professional footballers playing out side of Ghana with good contracts have some link with Dada Ansong or Sly Tetteh.

Neither Dada Ansong nor Sly Tetteh have held or now hold any official positions at the Ghana Football Association. They do not contribute to the appointments of national team coaches or player selection to the national teams. People should not confuse Silas Tetteh with Sly Tetteh. Silas Tetteh is the deputy coach of the Ghana Black Stars and also a coach for Liberty Professionals Football Club. Alhaji Sly Tetteh is a hard working businessman, football administrator and the owner and a bank roller for Liberty Professionals Football Club.

The only crime that Alhaji Sly Tetteh has done to Ghana soccer is by employing the best coaches in Ghana under contract and allowing them to work on part time for the national teams. And by signing the best young footballers, training them and marketing them.

He is presently the soccer adviser to the Benin Football Association. Until this appointment Benin has never been at the African Cup of Nations. Since his appointment they have qualified twice.

Watch out, more players with a Liberty Professionals background will be joining and playing for the national teams of Ghana. It is just because they are the best. Michael Helegbey and Eric Bekoe are the next set of Liberty Professionals former players that will be joining the Black Stars. Please instead of blaming Sly Tetteh and calling him all sort of names, the football administrators in Ghana should go to this hard working man to learn his secrets. If the other football administrators in Ghana do not change their way of doing things very soon all the Ghana national soccer teams players will come from; Liberty Professionals, Gomoa Fetteh Feyenord Academy and AshantiGold football clubs.

Please do not blame Sly Tetteh and co. They are only doing the right things. Let us rather encourage them and learn from them.

Peter Young +233 20 8139750 +232 76 410683

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.