The Northern Region has over the years contributed to Ghana’s football stock thanks to a constant stream of talents.
Alhassan Yakubu is a coach at Real Republicans and responsible for unearthing and nurturing some of the country’s finest footballers.
With a tall list of footballers he has worked on from Mubarak Wakaso to Michael Anaba, Hamza Mohammed, Shilla Illiasu, coach Alhassan Yakubu has seen it all.
A product of Real Republicans, of which he is currently a coach, he has been heavily involved in youth football development in the region since 1984.
Dawuo, as he is popularly known, identifies the players at a very young age and helps them to grow into their craft.
“These players are picked from a very tender age like around eight years to nine years then we start grooming them through the processes till they leave the club.”
Dawuo’s signature can be found all around today and yesterday’s local football names.
He attempts to list them.
“Coaches don’t just like players anyhow, they like players who will adhere to discipline measures you will put across. Sometimes, he might not be the top player of the club but because of his attitude you will like him.”
Despite the visible success football has brought to the many who pass through his hands, the effort to develop more talents is sometimes met with a lot of pessimism.
“Training these young players in the region, sometimes especially when we started parents did not really want their wards to get involved with football. So, sometimes when they come to training and go home they face a lot of challenges with their parents so in view of that, getting players to come to training sometime is a problem. Training kits and other issues is also a very big challenge for players in the region here, until recently when Wakaso, Abdul Majeed Warris.
“These players in the national team coming into the limelight that is where now parents are interested in allowing their kids to really play football.”
The work of Dawuo and other coaches in the Region, contributing to the development of youth football, plays a critical role in the national football agenda.
It is a lot of sweat. As the years go by, these young ones will have to put in enough to justify all the investment.
By Nana Akua Amankwaa Quaye|3news.com|Ghana