Former international goalkeeper Ali Jarra, who was forced out of active sports by a strange ailment appeals to companies and individuals to support his goalkeepers' academy.
Mr Jarra, now a goalkeepers coach, runs the Ali Jarra Academy that basically trains goalkeepers. He is assisted by some retired goalkeepers, who conduct training sessions for over 150 goalkeepers from the colts to the premier league divisions at the Mamprobi Indadfa Park in Accra.
Speaking to the Statesman newspaper in Accra, he said the academy which he founded four years ago, had produced young goalkeepers who play for clubs like Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Great Olympics, Liberty Professionals and Power FC.
He named some of the top goalies who graduated from the academy as Kotei Blankson of Liberty and the Black Meteors, Laud Quartey of Hearts and Abraham Hoenyedzi of Power FC and the current goalkeeper of the Black Starlets.
Jarra, who was a member of the Black Starlets that participated in the Under 17 World Cup tournaments in Italy (1991) and Japan (1993), said the Academy offered free training sessions to trainees.
"However, we need balls and gloves to train with. We also have to buy water and bear some transportation bills of the players. I, therefore, appeal to companies and philanthropists to support us because the country needs good goalkeepers", he noted.
Jara added that since his premature retirement from the sport, "I have to impart what I know to others, because I love the game of football".
The former employee of the Ghana National Fire Service and Accra Hearts of Oak, expressed his gratitude to people like Hearts of Oak Director, Alhaji Fawaz Zowk and Chief Executive Tommy Okine for their financial assistance during his predicament.
He also thanked the entire supporters of Hearts for their "moral support during the past 12 years when I was struck by the strange ailment that cut short my ambition to aspire to the top of Ghana football."
The former goalkeeper was flown abroad for medical treatment that has sustained him, though he occasionally travels to London for check ups.
During his playing days, Jarra won a number of awards, including the Toyota Most Promising Star and a special award from the Ghana Football Association for his "strong will."
The Ali Jarra Goalkeepers Academy presently boasts of over 150 goalkeepers of both sexes who feature for colts clubs, divisions three, two, one and the premier league.
Source: The Statesman