INTO THE LIMELIGHT: Here is Rashid Sumaila

This week, Black Stars Coach, James Akwasi Appiah, put out his list of players for the next set of games against Liberia and Malawi. 

Youth star and Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s RASHID SUMAILA made the squad. We asked the rising star to step to the FMiG microphone!

Rashid Sumaila

Sumaila started playing soccer as a kid but developed the interest in professional soccer while he played for his Junior High School team in Cape Coast. His skills were however discovered and developed further by a colts club called Astronomers FC.

The spotlight fell on Sumaila at Ebusua Dwarfs where he rose from the junior ranks to make his senior debut in the 2010-11 season of the Glo Ghana Premier League.

At Dwarfs, Sumaila became an instant hit! His power in the air, ball winning skills, tackling and imposing presence in the Dwarfs defence soon won him many rave reviews from the press.

It was therefore with little surprise that within that season, Sumaila was invited to the National Youth team, the Black Satellites and then ultimately the senior national team; The Black Stars in November of 2011.

His young career has already seen him win the Glo Ghana Premier League defender of the year in 2010/2011 season and an All African Games Gold Medal. The sky apparently being his limit, we probed which footballer he looked up to.

According to the talent-laden youth, he has looked up to Black Stars captain John Mensah and his deputy John Paintsil for inspiration throughout his career.

We further asked the award-wining defender about the most notorious local strikers he ever came up against. With almost no hesitation he mentioned their names in no particular order: “Gilbert Fiamenyo, Mahatma Otoo , Emmanuel Baffour and Emmanuel Clottey.”

There are many memorable games, like his senior squad début for Dwarfs, but he will never forget a hand injury he picked against King Faisal that season. The injury required that he be operated which meant that he was to be benched. For a young player playing his début season, he felt very demoralized.

The teenage sensation was quite dodgy on the question of his favourite football things; claiming he had no favourite clubs or coaches. “Any new club I play for becomes my favourite club. So, for now, let us say I am a [Asante] Kotoko fan.”

Trying to be even more politically correct, the Black Stars defender also added, “I do not have a favourite coach, I have enjoyed the style of every coach I have played for.”

Many footballers have a private ritual before each game. Sumaila says a simple prayer. “Before every game, I pray for protection and a good game.”

Should God grant him his requests, the Black Stars defender promises Asante Kotoko fans many great and exciting performance. He hopes he and his colleagues can bring smile to Babayara by defending their title and also putting up a good show during CAF Champion’s League tournament.

Sumaila has already won the interest of several scouts and clubs. Particularly French side RC Lens have offered him a couple of trial sessions, but his eyes are set on London’s Chelsea FC.


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