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31.03.2006 Sports News

Encountering Soccer In The Northern Region

By Amo-Mensah, Kwasi
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Discussion on Real Tamale United is enough to explain the height of football in the northern region of Ghana. For years, it has been my expectation to see other clubs from the region partner RTU to stage a big challenge in the premiership.

Tamale Road Masters managed to get to top flight soccer in the 80s but the Road Masters we saw was not so strong to survive the premiership for long. On a number of occasions, Savana Stars have come closer, but always find the middle league a tall hurdle to clear.

On the youth level, Republican Colts Club have really made name for themselves in national championships. Abu Idrisu, Muhamed Gargo, Abass Idrisu, Hamza Muhamed, Faisal Sulemana were all beneficiaries to youth soccer development drive in the region. In 1990, Bimbila Training College beat Osei Kyeretwie School 1:0 to become the first college from the region to win Milo Soccer competition organised for schools and colleges in Ghana.

Real Tamale United would never overlook the contribution of Muhamed Choo to the club. Arguably, he is the all-time best of the region. He really combined skill with hardwork to push the club to another level. Anane Kobo also came from nowhere to take the premeirship by storm, topping the scoring chart of the 1984 season.

One other name that remains in the annals of RTU is Abedi Pele who at 17 made a mark at CAN 82 in Libya. It was a big moment for Abedi to participate in Africa`s biggest soccer fiesta at such age. However, CK Gyamfi, then Black Stars` coach had confidence in him and gave him the chance to prove his ability. ,

Anane Kobo moved to Kotoko in 1986. When RTU additionally lost Tanko Jentuma, Lukman Dauda, Abu Imoro to Great Olympics then under Harry Zakhour, it became clear that for the first time in many years, RTU were going to be in tatters but that was not to be. The club has existed up-to-date with the likes of Bobby Rahman giving inspiration to the young.

1n 1998, RTU came close to winning the FA Cup but lost to Asante Kotoko in the finals. The club lost players like Dan Acquah and Stephen Oduro to Kotoko afterwards. I wonder why Abukari Damba, Ibrahim Dossey and Oscar Asamoah could not maintain impressive form after leaving RTU. Dossey joined Hearts in mid 90s, years after Damba to Olympics.

I believe there is more on Real Tamale United and Northern Regional soccer which I do not know about.

Long Live soccer in the north.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.