Manchester City's Ghanaian gamble could pay off
Manchester City have evolved from a mid-table relegation candidate side to one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Since their investment from the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, the club have gone on to win the Premier League title.
With the best players in the world coming to the Etihad it makes sense that they have invested in their academy to produce their own crop of superstars.
Former Premier League star Patrick Vieira in the man in charge of overseeing City’s talented players.
Amongst the home grown and European talent learning their trade at City’s academy are six African starlets who have all been given the chance to change their lives forever.
Razak Nuhu, Dominic Oduro, Bismark Adjei-Boateng, Thomas Agyiri, Enock Kwakwa and Godsway Donyoh are all Ghanian born footballers who have left their families to move to Manchester in search of achieving their dreams.
The youngsters were all part of their homeland’s Right to Dream academy, which was formed in 2000 by former Manchester United scout Tom Vernon.
The academy describes their aims as follows: “the focus and guiding principle of the academy is that every talented child has the right to dream of a better, brighter future and can reach their full potential when nurtured within the right structure and environment.”
The football side of the academy provides;
The programme is comprised of four squads (U11, U13, U15 and U18) who undertake between 12 and 18 hours of training time per week dependant on age.
Training includes technical work, tactical work, personal training, position specific training, matches, conditioning work, co-ordination and stabilisation work and classroom based activities including video analysis and football based discussions.
After City secured the service of these bright Ghanaian sparks, they set about ensuring they could enhance their abilities in first team football.
Nuhu, a 22-year-old defender, Adjei-Boateng, 19-year-old midfielder, and Enock Kwakwa, also a 19-year-old midfielder, all signed for City in 2011 and are currently on loan at Norwegian Premier League side Stromsgodset.
Nuhu made seven assists for the club last season as he helped the side secure second place in the league.
Adjei-Boateng is currently the club’s joint-top league goalscorer with seven goals.
City’s starlets have helped the club to top the table on goal-difference with four games remaining.
They sit ahead of former Champions League side Rosenborg and former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde side.
18-year-old full-back Dominic Oduro is currently on loan at Danish Superliga club AGF until the end of the year.
Oduro made his debut for the club in a 2–0 win against league rivals FC Vestsjælland on July 27 and has continued to aid his progression in Denmark, ahead of his return to Manchester.
Midfielder Thomas Agyiri has been taken on temporary terms by Finnish side TPS Turku. The 19-year-old has also had a loan spell in Portugal with Gil Vicente.
Last but by no means least of the bunch is Godsway Donyoh.
The 18-year-old winger was allowed to join former Champions League side and 11 time Swedish champions Djurgardens for the season.
Donyoh has made 19 appearences, scoring two goals, so far during his career in Sweden.
With these six youngsters all looking to follow in the footsteps of their nation’s football legends such as Michael Essien, Samuel Kuffour and Stephen Appiah, Manchester City have given them the chance to do so as they look to prove that investing in youth and scouting players throughout the world, and not just in Europe, is the way forward.
It will be a tough challenge for the Ghanian youths to break into a Manchester City side full of superstars but maybe their dreams will become realities one day.