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10.11.2008 Football News

Quincy reveals Ghana baptism

					Quincy reveals Ghana baptism

Quincy has enjoyed his times with Ghana Birmingham flyer Quincy Owusu Abeyie has enjoyed his introduction to the English Championship - but he admits that nothing would beat the 'baptism' Ghana gave him.  

Despite being laid low with a groin injury in recent weeks, the twinkle-toed loan star has shown glimpses of being the wing wizard that the St Andrew's faithful have craved.

The well-schooled forward has gained a wealth of experience across the continent after coming through the ranks of Ajax.

He may be only 22 but Quincy's career has already taken him from Arsenal to Moscow and back to England with Birmingham via Spain, following a loan spell with Celta Vigo.

However his international career is barely ten months old having only been given clearance to play for Ghana in January - when his new colleagues took the phrase 'wet behind the ears' to a new level.

The Amsterdam-born attacker represented Holland Under-21s having first turned out for the country of his birth as a 15-year-old.

However in January 2007, Quincy pledged his allegiance to Ghana, where his parents originated from, and after a year-long bid for international clearance he was granted permission to turn out for the Black Stars at the turn of the year.

Camp

But rather than receiving a warm welcome from Michael Essien and company when he met up with Ghana at a training camp in Dubai, he was given the team's traditional soggy welcome.

"When I first joined up with the Ghana team ,they all threw water over me," admitted the Blues hot-shot, whose full name is Quincy James Owusu-Abeyie.

"Then they said 'right, you;re baptised now so you are now one of us'.

"Everyone who is new to the national squad has to go through the same thing, when you first arrive you get drenched with water and then you have to do a little dance.

"It's not a special dance or anything, you can make up any dance you want so I just did whatever came into my head at the time."

The soaking initiation that Quincy received when he first linked up with Ghana, who host Tunisia for a friendly match on November 19, is just one example of the African nation squad's close-knit set-up.

And Quincy admits that religion plays a major part in the Ghanian set-up, something which came to the fore when the country hosted and came third in the recent African Cup of Nations.

"When we are together with the Ghana team we pray a lot, both as Muslims and Christians. Praying has always been important to me, it comes from my family. Of course, you really want to have God on your side when you play football and it's the same in Ghana.

"Usually after dinner, we pray for half-an-hour or 45 minutes and then sing a song in our own language when we are all together. Praying is a very regular thing, we do it before and after every training session.

"They have a lot of passion for football in Ghana, as we saw at the African Nations;, even when we are just having a friendly the people go crazy. That's why I love Africa so much, the crowds are amazing and I love to go over there and play. I always look forward to playing for my country."

Quincy arrived at Blues from Spartak Moscow on a loan deal until January but is eager to extend his deal and continue to help fire the Championship silverware-chasers back to the Premier League.   Other than a petulant storm down the players' tunnel after being substituted in the 1-0 victory over Doncaster in September, Quincy has had no run-ins with Blues boss Alex McLeish.

The former Gunners starlet had often let himself down at previous clubs for his bad attitude but he arrived at Blues as a new, more mature player.   "I've not spoken about my situation yet, I just have to keep working hard for myself," he said.

"I know I'm on loan and that I still need to prove myself and the manager has given me that chance.

"I'm not too concerned about that side of things at the moment, I want to enjoy what I'm doing and help us win games, that's the reason why I'm here.

"I'm happy with Alex McLeish, he's a good manager. There's nothing negative about him. He's obviously good enough because we're up near the top of the league."     Source: Mercury  

For more Ghana football news visit www.ghanasoccernet.com

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