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

Acquah extends Palermo stay

Afriyie Acquah has penned a new deal with Italian Serie A side Palermo.The Ghanaian midfielder has signed a new contract with the Rosanero to 2016.

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini is delighted with the deal as he rates Acquah, 19, very highly.Walter Sabatini, Palermo’s former sports director has compared him to Michael Essien.

 

 

AZ releases six-players,Gyasi stays

AZ bid farewell to six players currently on loan at Eerstedivisie (1st division) side  Telstar .Only Edwin Gyasi, also on loan at the  Jupilier League club, gets a chance to prove himself in Alkmaar.
The Noordhollands Dagblad (The Times) reports that Mike  Boelee, Kevin Brands, Ilias Haddad, Jeroen Tesselaar, the Estonian Marek Kiljumäe and Swede Zlatan Křižanovice need to find a new employer.”The six players can’t secure a starting XI berth within one or two years  in  AZ, ” says Max Huiberts,who  is  responsible for AZ’s partnership with Telstar. “Most players have a lot of competition in their position. I can imagine why the technical staff of Telstar wants to continue  with some of the boys.”

Gyasi who has extended his contract with AZ,has been given the chance to play in the first team.Gyasi was born in Amsterdam to Ghanaian parents and has personally informed me on his desire to play for Ghana.The 19 year old received a call up from Orlando Wellington to represent the Satellites early this year but did not hear anything from the FA after following up.He is kind of frustrated but has not given up on his chances in the Ghana team.With his speed any eye for goal,Gyasi will become a fan’s favourite when he starts wearing the Ghana shirt.

Bill ‘Dinho’ Baita: I am the future

One of the reasons why the Black Stars performed so well at the 2010 FIFA World Cup was because the coach gave the youth a chance. Players like Dede Ayew,Jonathan Mensah,Samuel Inkoom and Kwadwo Asamoah did not disappoint.

Already a firm favourite with the MK Dons faithful, Accra native,Bill Baita has also been impressing in the ‘’wilderness’’ of Ghana soccer.The 16-year-old winger is eager to make his name in the footballing world. Little wonder, then, that he was all smiles when speaking exclusively to Socceringhana about his life in Ghana and the recent upturn in the fortunes of the Black Stars.

Socceringhana: Bill, it’s been four months now since I got to know you. How are things going at MK Dons?
Bill Baita: Very well! I’m really happy at my club.

Socceringhana:Footballers in Ghana are used to nicknames like Pele,Rooney,Ronaldo,etc. What is your nickname?

Bill Baita: Dinho.I wish to be like Ronalinho.I only I could have 30% of his skills.

When did you start playing football? Haha,right after I started walking.I was born with a ball at my feet.lol!

What is your favourite football team?
The Blues of Chelsea is my favourite team. My countryman Michael Essien inspires me and has made me realize that one can achieve anything in life with determination.

What is your first World Cup experience?
France ’98 .I still remember players like Michael Owen,Ronaldo,Batistuta, Hagi and Kluivert.

the future in my hands

the future in my hands

There are rumours you are friends with Dede Ayew,how true is that?
Yes he is a friend who is trying to help me make it in life with football.I am very proud of what he has achieved. I always pray for him.

What is your educational background?I’m a Senior High School (SHS) student.

Which team would you love to play one day?
I would love to play for Chelsea one day alongside Michael Essien.

 

 

Is there another league you’d  like to play in?
I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I like the Spanish La Liga but it’s never happened. I’ll take whatever comes.

Who is your football icon?Ronaldinho. The guy could do anything with the world. He was awesome.

How do you think African football is doing in general right now?
Well we are still a developing continent and with the 2010 world cup hosted here in Africa it has brought so much change and with modern infrastructure and facilities needed to breed young players are been put in place. So I think we are on track and in some few years to come Africa will produce stars that no one ever imagined.

How do you see the Black Stars in 5 yeas time?

I see Ghana as a great force in world football,second to none.I hope to captain the Black Stars one day.I just pray the problems at the GFA get fixed as soon as possible.We also have to find a new coach as quickly as possible.

Finally, who do you think will be stepping up to collect the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 on 10 January?
If you’re looking at actual quality then Lionel Messi is the best as far as I’m concerned: the things he can do with the ball are just incredible.

Thanks for  your co-operation and I wish you good luck

Ghana’s Under 20 Team qualify for Africa Youth Championship

Ghana’s Black Satellites sealed their place for the Libya 2011 Orange African Youth Championship after beating Benin 4-1 in the second leg of the final round qualifier on Saturday at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra.The victory ensured the Satellites booked their ticket to next year’s competition that pieces together the best youth teams on the continent courtesy a 6-1 score line on aggregate.A brace from Richmond Boakye Yiadom and a goal each from Jordan Ayew and substitute Edwin Osei were enough to give the Satellites the right to defend the title they won in Rwanda last year.

The reigning continental and global champions displayed a not too impressive performance, but earned them a spot amongst the finalists of the biennial championship.The Satellites started on a promising note and succeeded in taking a three goal lead at half time, but gradually faded out with holding midfielder Afriyie Acquah serving the brightest spot in the team throughout the game.Acquah, who plies his trade with Italian outfit Palermo anchored the midfield which revolved around Boakye Yiadom, Ebo Andoh and Jordan Ayew, the youngest son of ex-Black Stars captain Abedi Pele Ayew.

The Satellites resorted to the use of the flanks where they had Frank Acheampong at the left and Andoh at the right and it paid dividends in the early stages.Yiadom broke the deadlock on five minutes by finishing off a corner-kick before completing his brace two minutes later also from a header from close range.On 14 minutes, Andoh during one of his raids upfront was fouled by Benin defender Gozo Brice in the penalty area, which made the referee to point to the spot.Ayew converted the spot kick with ease and capped his first goal in the national colours with a unique celebration, by running to the inner perimeter to punch the air with a fist towards a section where his father Abedi sat in attendance.

The Beninois were however not industrious in attack and played as if there was nothing at stake, whilst the Satellites dipped in performance after scoring their three goals.The visitors best chance of the game came on the stroke of half time when central defender Bright Addai gifted Lanignan Daniel the ball after fumbling around his goal area, but with only goalkeeper Akwasi Acheampong at his mercy, the striker shot wide.The Satellites had the upper hand in the exchanges of the second half but had to wait till the 90th minute for substitute Osei to score the fourth goal to put the icing on the cake before Adjibade Ismaila grabbed a consolation goal for the Benin Junior Squirrels in added-on time.

Libya will host the final tournament from March 18 to April 1, 2011.

Richmond Boakye Yiadom scored two goals for the Black Satellites

Richmond Boakye Yiadom scored two goals for the Black Satellites

Tawrick Djibril close to Hearts exit

Hearts of Oak player Tawrick Djibril look set to part ways with the club after he reportedly applied for floating at the Status Committee of the Ghana Football Association on Monday.

Djibril’s contract with the 2000 African Champions has ended and the young promising talent is refusing to extend his stay.

The Ghana Under-20 player, often touted as one of the next big thing in Ghana Football, had a forgettable season with Hearts last season where he was often confined to the bench.The current situation is likely set to alert a host of clubs in the Ghanaian top flight as Asante Kotoko has been strongly linked with the youngster.

Djibril played a cameo role in Hearts of Oak’s Premier League drab draw against Ebusua Dwarfs

Hearts of Oak whiz kid Tawrick Djibril look set to part ways with the club after he reportedly applied for floating status at the Status Committee of the Ghana Football Association on Monday.

Hearts of Oak whiz kid Tawrick Djibril look set to part ways with the club after he reportedly applied for floating status at the Status Committee of the Ghana Football Association on Monday.

last Sunday.

Ghanaian youngster dumps Liverpool out of Carling Cup,Newcastle teach Chelsea a lesson

Ghanaian youngtser Abdul Osman caused a major shock in world football on Wednesday as his penalty kick dumped English giants Liverpool out of the Carling Cup in the third round

Liverpool blew one of their best chances of winning a trophy this season after suffering an embarrassing 4-2 penalty shoot-out Carling Cup defeat against League Two side Northampton at Anfield. Having taken a ninth-minute lead through Milan Jovanovic, his first goal since joining the club from Standard Liege in the summer, the hosts should have wrapped up the third round tie. But Billy McKay and Michael Jacobs turned things around and although David Ngog snatched a late equaliser the Cobblers went through on spot-kicks with Ghana’s Abdul Osman scoring the decisive penalty.

The 23-year-old’s final kick helped his League Two side Northampton win the penalty shoot-out to secure their shock advance to the next round of the competition in one of the biggest shocks on the day.With the sides locked at 2-2 after extra-time, Abdul Osman kept his cool to slot in the decisive spot-kick.It was another night of Carling Cup drama for Merseyside football following Everton’s surprise exit at Brentford 24 hours before Northampton’s visit to Liverpool.

Abdul Osman plants his penalty past Brad Jones to secure the dramatic victory

West Brom roared back from a half-time deficit to send Manchester City tumbling out with a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns. Gianni Zuiverloon and Simon Cox turned the match on its head, scoring within two minutes of each other after Jo had put City in front midway through the first half. It was a dismal result for Blues boss Roberto Mancini, who was forced to field an inexperienced side due to a combination of injury and Saturday’s Premier League match with Chelsea, but saw the first chance of silverware disappear at the earliest opportunity. Wigan staged a dramatic late fightback to snatch a place in the fourth round with a 2-1 victory over valiant Preston. Jordi Gomez and Charles N’Zogbia struck in the closing three minutes as the Premier League side prevailed at the DW Stadium. Preston had led after Keith Treacy opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and hit the woodwork twice through Paul Coutts.