By Ameenu Shardow
GHANAsoccernet.com caught up with Ghanaian youngster Joachim Adukor who plays his club football with Swedish club Gefle IF.
The 19-year-old has struggled to get regular games in the top flight but remains upbeat of his chances going forward.
GHANAsoccernet.com had an extensive chat with the young lad during his brief vacation back home in Ghana as the Swedish league is on winter break.
We already know you are a young Ghanaian player with Swedish club Gefle, now describe why we’ve not hearing much of you this season.
It is true I haven’t played much so far this season, I believe I am still developing but to be playing regular top flight football as a young African in Europe is very tough. It involves a lot of things; the language, culture, weather, technique, physique are all challenges that you face but I keep working hard and hopefully am sure in the second half of the season things will be ok.
So what are the factors hindering your progress as a regular first team player in Gefle?
I think it is experience. Because the club showed they really wanted me due to my height and the fact that I play multiple positions. Don’t forget this is just my first season with an European club so the only thing left now is to gather enough experience and I believe things will be fine.
So when do you reckon you will be gaining this experience which will earn you regular playtime?
Like I said before, this just my first year in Europe and I have played a couple of games but admittedly not enough. But the club still believe and have confidence in me, they only think I am still developing as a player but I can see myself playing regularly by next season. I have started adopting their (European) style very well so I think am ready to make the next step.
Now obviously with a player your age, usually there is an appetite to play for the national U-20, is it same with you?
Of course, it is something I am really looking forward to, to play for my country. It will be a dream come true with especially what the 2009 team did. It has really inspired me a lot to play for the Black Satellites.
Maybe you are not aware, but a lot of players both within and outside Ghana want to play for the national team, so what then makes you the unique, must-have player in the team?
Well I think I have a different style, I attack more, I am tall and very good in the air and I am good with the ball at the feet also and I have the confidence.
But this same attributes are shared amongst the other players who also want to play in the side, so then how do you become the ‘it’ factor?
I think it is very good that a lot of quality players are vying for places. However one can do all the talking but where it matters most is on the field of play. So it's all about giving the opportunity and then we shall see.
Which of the established players in the world would you liken your style of play to?
For me it is Patrick Viera, I followed him a lot and watched a lot of videos of him. I also watch a lot of clips of Zinedine Zidane but for me the number one has to be Viera.
What do you think you need to do to improve as a player in order to reach the heights of the greats you have mentioned?
I think it is much of the hardwork and keeping my focus. I believe with these two things the sky is the limit.
Have you ever regretted choosing football as your profession?
No, not at all. I have had bad times but never have I regretted the decision.
Why was your choice football, was it because it obviously pays well?
No, not because of the money. If it were so I think everyone will be in it. I had the talent and passion for it and yes I won’t lie, the money also helps but was not my main reason for moving into football.
Do you at times fear your career will never reach the heights you hope for?
No I have never thought of that. I have had some old players speak to me and they always tell me I will be a great player. Only if I get the right club, keep working hard and my focus is still intact, I have no doubt whatsoever that I will make it.
In the next three, four, five years, where will Joachim Adukor be?
I want to see myself playing in the big leagues in the world; the Premiership, La Liga, Serie-A, Bundesliga.
Finally give us a brief history about yourself, where you come from, where you schooled and the like.
I am from the Upper East Region but was born and bred in Tema. I started schooling at St. Augustine’s Primary where I had my basic education before moving to Ashaiman Senior High school for my secondary education. That was where I got the opportunity to travel outside to play football.
You mean you were spotted while in school?
Not really, I was playing for a colts club in Ashaiman called Palmer FC before joining Division One club Emirates Sporting Club and that is where I had the opportunity to go to Sweden.
So you had trials there before you were signed by Gefle?
Yes, I had a one week trial at Gefle and they told me it was either they sign me or I’ll return to Ghana. But the coach was very impressed that he told the media at the time that I am a utility player – one that he really likes. He played me central, on the wings and even striking and on all counts I excelled. So they quickly arranged for me to sign initially a development contract for six months and then later I was offered a professional contract which is for four years.
How is life in Sweden?
It is quite good but like I said the weather, culture and every other thing there is different. Where I live is not really in the city so I don’t go out at all, partly because I don’t really fancy going out. I prefer to stay indoors and play my play station.
It has been a pleasure speaking to you.
The pleasure is all mine.