Spotted in dreadlocks, Laryea Kingston was an exciting player to watch in his heyday. Bombing down the right wing, taking players on and had the skill and elegance of a gazelle.
He is one of the only players to have represented Ghana at youth level before ultimately playing for the Black Stars.
Off the field too, he had a social life that matched his incredibly daring playing style. These days, life is different. The dreads are off, the grey hairs have sprouted disrupting the uniformity of the perfectly laid black hair he had before and has become a coach for young footballers.
Laryea joined the coaching team at the Right to Dream Academy last year where he has begun the development of young players for the harsh realities of professional football that lie ahead. Owner of the Right to Dream Academy, Tom Vernon gave him a call to join the academy as one of the coaches and it has been one achievement to the other since.
“The moment I finished my career, I said to myself that I can do other things but I cannot live without the game of soccer because that is what I have throughout my life. That’s why I decided to go into football and the second main thing is everything I acquired in my career, I have to pass it on to the younger generation.”
Training sessions begin at 4pm. First, players go through their paces and follow it up with ball work which is top of the agenda in a session but Laryea doesn’t just stand on the sidelines and looks on. He is just as vocal as he was back in his playing days.
Laryea explains the need for proper development at this age for footballers.
“I think this foundation – the Right To Dream Academy helps a lot. The efforts the coaches have been putting in the young ones and all the training sessions. Everything is well planned. It is not just a training session but we do it for purpose which is very good for development.”
The former Ghana Midfielder is still on course to gaining his UEFA license B certificate that will enable him take over professional clubs.
“What I need as a coach is to win cups. I wish one day when the time comes and then I have the opportunity to coach one of the big clubs, I will be more than happy to go there. I love the challenge. But for now, I am with Right to Dream.”
Laryea’s path to being a coach has been smooth but for him the enormous challenges of managing character and behaviours are what spurred him on. He is on board the midnight train and the destination isn’t too far away.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana