Three Ghanaian internationals Kudus Mohammed, Majid Ashimeru and Gideon Mensah have underscored the importance of football academies.
Making separate arguments for their contributions to the overall growth process of players, the trio, who are products of the system, touted its efficiency and critical role in a player’s early to mid-years.
Appearing on #InConversationWith, they said it offers an ideal foundation for excellence, adding that it was a sure way to solidify young talents and get them grounded before the big break.
Majid Ashimeru and Gideon Mensah who both played for WAFA, reechoed this.
“Academy football is really important for a young, up and coming player especially in Ghana. It helps you to improve. It is much easier when you go to play in Europe,” said Ashimeru.
Gideon added that: “I had the talent before going there but there you have the advanced coaches who take you through your career, what to do and not to do. It helped me a lot when i came to Europe. There were some things i didn’t have to learn because i already had it at the academy.”
A widely-held belief and view for proponents of the system, it is spoken off well by the players themselves who pass through the model such as Kudus, who played for the Right to Dream Academy before moving to Europe.
“It is very important; at Right to Dream, we travelled and played some of the teams in Europe so when you go there, you are already used to it professionally,” says Kudus.
For most young Ghanaian players, the opportunity to get Academy training is a golden windfall.
While some choose other routes, the verdict is out there. Over the years, it has become a massive conveyor belt offering guaranteed success.
True to its form, majority go on to build careers that stand the test of time.
Kudus plays for FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga. Majid Ashimeru plays for Red Bull Salzburg. Gideon Mensah plays for Belgian club Zulte Waregem on loan from Red Bull Salzburg.
#InConversationWith is hosted by Juliet Bawuah on Twitter and Instagram every weekend.
By Juliet Bawuah
The writer is a sports broadcast journalist with Media General