Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah shed tears as he recounted how his son quit school to pursue his football career.
Speaking on Tv3 Saturday May 15, Appiah said, although, difficult he had to support his son’s decision to quit school and take up football.
Appiah, who captained Ghana to its first-ever World Cup in 2006 and also the leader of the Black Stars team that almost made history in South Africa, is confident his son will do better than him, saying “it will be difficult for him to fail”.
But has advised him to have these qualities “determination, hard work, focus, discipline and passion”.
Appiah said, at first, he wasn’t convinced but after speaking with his wife, they decided to support their son’s dream of reaching the highest level in football – just like his father.
“It all started two years ago. This is something I don’t want to say now, but Rodney [was] a student and at a point, he wanted to play football so he used to be moody anytime he returned from school. One day I sat him down and asked him why he was moody at the time, and he said ‘daddy I think now I want to play football’.”
“Looking at the system here, it’s either you play football and quit school or you quit football and go to school. So I explained to him how the system in Ghana is like as compared to Europe and still he wanted to play football.”
“One day I was home with my wife and we had a chat. I told her about Rodney and you know women, when you start and you haven’t even landed, they’ll start ‘no, no, no he shouldn’t’. I asked her to calm down as I hadn’t finished.”
“So we spoke about it and one dawn I woke her up and said ‘okay, I have taken the decision and I think that I have to support and help Rodney to play.’ Taking that decision wasn’t easy.”
Appiah and Rodney started training last year during the lockdown period. They sometimes wake up as early as 4am to train.
“One day I woke him up at around 4am. He turned around and said ‘Oh daddy [why are you waking me up at this time?]’. I knew that for sure this guy is insulting me in his head!”
Rodney joined Ghana Premier League side Great Olympics in March this year. They club signed him and the son of ex-Ghana international Laryea Kingson.
Appiah admits his relationship with caretaker coaches Yaw Preko and Godwin Attram, at the time, helped secure a seven-week trial for Rodney at the club.
The teenager impressed and was rewarded with a professional contract. Rodney made his debut for Olympics in their 2-0 win over Liberty Professionals early this month.
“Although he [Rodney] hasn’t started playing [regularly]…I must say I envy Abedi Pele [ex-Ghana star and father of Black Stars brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew] because I know the joy the man has when he’s watching football. When I see my son even going to warm-up, the joy!”
By: Enoch Fiifi Forson|3news.com|Ghana