Edwin and Raymond Gyasi: Our speed is our weapon

What’s in a name? Not so long ago, everything, that one small badge of family lineage binding you and yours to a certain rung on the social ladder for generations on end. Even today, a name is like a stamp of identity, carrying genuine weight that can often make it heavy to bear. The Ayew and Gyan brothers are the most famous football siblings in Ghana.Amsterdam also has its soccer brothers of Ghanaian descent in the Gyasis.I have been following these boys for some time now and I have a great feeling that they need to play for Ghana.

It’s Thursday evening 20:00, Soccer in Ghana visits the Gyasis at  Kraaiennest in de Bijlmer (Amsterdam). The Bijlmer is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam Zuidoost (‘Amsterdam South-East’) The Bijlmermeer neighbourhood, which today houses almost 100,000 people of over 150 nationalities, was designed as a single project.

Brothers Edwin and Raymond Gyasi grew up there as the sons of Ghanaians. They could end up playing for the Black Stars in the near future. Raymond is the younger of the two. The 17-year old is a midfielder who can also play in a more advanced role when called up to perform such duties.

Together, they are 7 children: six strong boys and a girl. The Gyasis come from a Christian home. Raymond likes to go on vacation in the USA , and yet he somehow feels connected to the African country, though he can’t quite explain why. Edwin on the other hand likes to visit Ghana.Edwin is Raymond’s (17) big brother. The 20 year old winger recently extended his contract with AZ, has been given the chance to play in the first team.Like Raymond, Edwin was born in Amsterdam.

The 20-year-old is hoping to play for the Black Stars, Ghana’s national team. As youngsters the brothers have played for almost the same clubs, CTO’70, AFC Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar. Edwin is back at AZ (after loan spells at Eerste Divisie (First Division) side SC Telsar) while Raymond plays for the AZ under 19 team.

Like many children of immigrants, Edwin and Raymond have a diffuse relationship to their nationality and roots, with two hearts beating in their chests. When it comes to playing for the national team, however, they can only opt for one country.

Raymond is sitting next to Edwin in their living room as the interview starts, at their home in Kraaiennest Amsterdam’s  Bijlmer neighbourhood. For a young football player, Raymond is built than one would expect. He speaks quietly and seems very confident.

                                                                                                                                  Talent

Raymond Gyasi

Raymond Gyasi

Are you still in school?

Raymond: Yes, I have my CommercialCustomer Service Level 3 Diploma (Commercieel Medewerker Niveau 3).

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Raymond :My strengths are my speed and my vision. I’m a very bad loser. That’s my weakness.

What is/are the moment(s) you remember the most in your short career?

Raymond: I scored a goal against Feyernoord in the finals of a tournament last year. I think May 2010 to be precise.

What is/are the low point(s) you remember the most in your short career?

Raymond: I could not make the B1 squad at Zeeburgia

What is your character?

Raymond: I’m a very quite person. I know when and when not to say something.

What is your goal/ambition?

Raymond: I want to become a professional footballer.

What do you do at your leisure time?

Raymond: I spend a lot of my time with my family and friends.

Are you interested in politics?

Raymond: Not at all.

What is favourite television programme?

Raymond: Jersey shore

How did you start out in the game, where did your passion for football come from?

Raymond: I started football at a very young age. I think when I was eight years old and it was easier for me since my brother had already started playing.

Do you eat before a game?

Raymond: Yes,I eat pasta or any warm food

Do you ever see yourself playing for the Black Stars?

Raymond: It’s my dream to play for the Black Stars one day but I don’t see myself playing for Ghana’s youth teams any time now because the organization in the Starlets and Satellites is very poor.

What if the KNVB invite you to play for the Dutch?Will you play?

Raymond: Yes, I will opt to play for Jong Oranje (the youth team)

Raymond Gyasi doing his own thing

What do you think was the key factor in the Black Star’s 2010 FIFA World Cup success?

Raymond: Teamwork


That said, what went through your mind after Gyan’s penalty miss?

Raymond: It can happen to anyone. Too bad he kicked the ball so high.

In your view, is this the most talented team Ghana has ever had?

Raymond: Can’t say. But I think it’s a very good team. The teams lacks the ability to initiate attacks. Our strikers squander too many chances but I think it shall be well one day.

Who is a better player? Raymond or Edwin?

Raymond: Edwin. He’s my role model

Do you dream of playing alongside each other in the same team?

Raymond: We’ve trained together before but our dream is to play together in the Black Stars.



What would it mean for you to play in a big club in Europe?

Raymond: Chelsea is my dream team because Michael Essien is there.I hope to play for them in the future if not soon.

Who were your idols growing up?

Raymond: Edwin,Ronaldo,Willy Overtoom and Thulani Serero

Who do you think will win the 2011/2012 Eredivisie?

Raymond: AZ of course

Raymond leaves the living room to discuss something with Richmond (his cousin) as I interviewed Edwin. Edwin sits relaxed in the sofa as our chat is about to begin. He has the broad shoulders of a professional footballer.

Promising Player

Edwin Gyasi  was  invited to the camp of Ghana’s Satellites team as they prepared for the African Youth Championship in Lybia this year.The 1,85 m tall player can also play as a winger. Edwin is an athlete because he is too fast with and without the ball. His speed is his asset.


Are you still in school?

Edwin: I have a HAVO Diploma (literally: “higher general continued education”) at Willem Blaeu after I left Calanb Lyceum.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Edwin: My strengths are my speed, very good when it comes to a one on one situation. I can easily lose my marker and I’m technically gifted. I’m just like Raymond .I’m a very bad loser.

What is/are the moment(s) you remember the most in your short career?

Edwin: My debut was the best moment in my career.Secondly, my performance against Atletico Madrid in the Coppa Amsterdam on May 23 ,2010 is a day I will never forget.

What is/are the low point(s) you remember the most in your short career?

Edwin: I don’t have a low point

What is your character?

Edwin: I’m a very interesting person. I am very sociable and I always want to share what I have.

What is your goal/ambition?

Edwin: I want to become the best footballer in the world.

What do you do at your leisure time?

Edwin: relaxing with my family and friends.

Are you interested in politics?

Edwin: No

What is favourite television programme?

Edwin: Voetbal Internationaal,Family Guy and South Park.

Do you eat before a game?

Edwin: Yes, I eat everything especially pasta.

First of all, you were expecting to help the Ghana U20 team at the African Cup this year but were not on the squad. Why don’t you start with explaining exactly what happened.

Edwin: I was very happy when I first heard the news because I had been dreaming of playing for Ghana for a very long time. But later that feeling vanished as I was disappointed by the officials.I was very frustrated. I didn’t hear anything from coach Orlando Wellington again. I spoke with Coach Akwasi Appiah (U-23 Coach) and he told me about the upcoming All Africa Games but I haven’t heard from him since.

 

How did you start out in the game, where did your passion for football come from?

Edwin: I started football when I was 7 years old but before that I didn’t know anything about the game.

Do you ever see yourself playing for the Black Stars?

Edwin: Yes. I see myself playing for the Ghana Black Stars one day.

What if the KNVB invite you to play for the Dutch?Will you play?

Edwin: I have to think about it very well before I make a choice.

What do you think was the key factor in the Black Star’s 2010 FIFA World Cup success?

Edwin: Teamwork and determination


Ed

That said, what went through your mind after Gyan’s penalty miss?

Edwin: It was so sad. Why should you shoot so high?

In your view, is this the most talented team Ghana has ever had?

Edwin: No,because I was not part of the team [ He laughs]. Just kidding but on a serious not Ghana does not really have creative players.

Have you enjoyed your loan spells at SC Telstar?

Edwin: I have learnt a lot over there. Football is about winning keeping in mind that the best way to attack is to defend.

What are your chances at AZ?

Edwin: It’s great to be back at AZ and I’ve come back a better and stronger player.

What would it mean for you to play in a big club in Europe?

Edwin: My dream is to play for Manchester United. I wish to succeed Ryan Giggs.


Who were your idols growing up?

Edwin: Giggs,Ronaldinho,Messi is also good ,Quincy and Ronaldo.

Who do you think will win the 2011/2012 Eredivisie?

Edwin: AZ

 

Thanks for your co-operation.

 NOKA

Credit: Deborah Saah Amponsah & the Gyasis

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4 thoughts on “Edwin and Raymond Gyasi: Our speed is our weapon

  1. T. de Boer says:

    Best Players!!

  2. Amma says:

    these guys are just great

  3. Good stuff from the guys. Sadly, The guys are experiencing the politics of football very early in their careers. Hope it goes well for them.

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