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Sports News | Jul 3, 2004

Long Live Gyandu Park

Kwasi Amo-Mensah

Gyandu Park, a premiership venue in Sekondi-Ghana which needs no introduction has really aided in talent development for Ghana soccer.

The mere mention of the Paha and Ayipey brothers, Quarshie, Abbrey, Yawson, Coffie, the free kick expert reminds me of days where football was reduced to nothing at the dreaded Gyandu Park. Clubs like Asante Kotoko should be the first to praise Gyandu for giving them Yaw Asamoah, Sam Ayipey, Kuuku Dadzie, John Bannerman, Muhamed Polo, Elvis Opoku some of whom had been part of Kotoko`s continental stories.

In the 80s where the late Ackah Blay Meizah was stearing the affairs of "akarakachii" (Eleven Wise), Wise was a team to beat alongside Hasaacas who eventually won the WAFU, in 1982, thus recording as the first Ghanaian club to win the trophy. The same period saw Emmanuel Quarshie, also a product of Gyandu lifting Nations Cup in Libya as the captain of the Black Stars. Henry Aquah of Hasaacas fame made it big when he joinied Hearts of Oak and crowned it all with a goal king title in 1988. Others like Philip Ayipey, Ebo Smith , Olabodey William, Isaac Ayipey were as well impressive with Hearts after parting ways with Gyandu. Frank Turkson, the latest product to join Hearts is taking long to regain form but hopefully, things would be better for him.

One element about Gyandu is that its products normally enjoy long years in football. Until 2002, Winsor Kofi Abbrey was still playing, many years after after CAN 82 where he was part of the success story of the Black Stars. Ebo Smith was playing active soccer from early 80s until mid 90s. Other names like Sam Ayipey, Salifu Ansah were all over the place from the 80s to the 90s. Now John Ainoo is to follow. This man who started with Eleven Wise in the eary 90s is still playing active soccer with Hasaacas not to talk about ex-Eleven Wise striker, Kwame Ayew who looks no near retirement. I was therefore shock about the early retirement of ex-Dunkwa star and Eleven Wise defender, Karlilu Dramani (under 16 as of Scotland 89 -FIFA/JVC Under 16 Championship).

I admire the way some of these giants of the west have taken to coaching. Aggrey Fynn, Isaac Paha, Emmanuel Quarshie, Salifu Ansah, Kuuku Dadzie are a few who have worked hard to establish themselves as reputable trainers in soccer . I believe we would see more from Gyandu Park so far as it still serving the premiership.

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