Written By Abel Manomey - A football player who features in any of the sixteen clubs that plays in the Ghana premier league is termed as a local player in Ghana.
Most of these guys leave their comfort zones with a dream, to bring joy and glory to themselves, family and community as a whole. They wake up at odd times of the day, before other colleagues, run miles climbing hills and valleys using their own description to measure their own training rudiments, not even knowing they are over training which can sometimes affect their performance during the season.
As they are soaked with sweat, some pray and hope their prayers will be answered for them to sign that contract to change their destiny. Others sneak back to their beds without being noticed before the normal training time later in the morning.
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Players have to unfortunately share the small peanuts they make as salaries with a coach who is corrupt and think players have to pay because of favoritism, and what they term as competition in the team which in their minds they know does not exist.
In the long run, management select players for these coaches, thereby ignoring the player who is giving his heart out throughout the week during training etc. Those with children and wives back at home must always beg for time and keep assuring them that things will be fine, pushing big responsibilities on their siblings and parents to play their roles as fathers.
Godfathers who are spiritualists also take their share of these salaries that comes once in four months with the belief that they are protecting these players as they play weekly in their games. It is not surprising players smear all kinds of oils and water of different forms on their jerseys, boots, and bodies with the belief these will work the magic for them in the matches.
It is not surprising that these local based players will do anything from rituals, paying of tithes, spilling blood, wearing special chains and rings on their fingers, legs and waist for protection and success to their playing careers.
Who will you blame for all these mirages they have built in their minds?
If players are paid their signing fees on time per the contractual obligations, monthly salaries will be enough to help them take of themselves and their families, and even help their communities. This will even encourage local players to give off their best at all times.
Do you want us to stay and play in the Ghana Premier League when you pay us very little in the form of signing fees and salary….? I don't think so....
My name is Abel Manomey. I strongly believe that local based players deserve the best in their homeland.
Abel Manomey holds a B.Sc. Physical Education degree from the University of Education, Winneba