Ghana youngster Edward Sarpong made history with Portuguese side Portimonense by becoming an integral part of the team and helping them to qualify back to the elite division just two months after they signed him from Ghanaian outfit Unistar Academy.
The 20-year-old left-back who has been already tagged as a phenomenal talent is one of the highly rated youngsters in Portugal and has been tipped to make it at the top.
Sports Writer Edmund Okai Gyimah caught up with him on Wednesday night and had this exclusive interview with him.
EOG- Within just two months Portimonense signed you from Unistar Academy you have made history with the club by helping them to secure Promotion to the Primera Liga, how do you feel?
ES- I really feel so excited trust me, because it is a dream come true. It is not easy for a young player like me (Sarpong) to be part of this team. To get promotion is not easy and am very excited for what we have achieved as a group
EOG-As a young player who is playing professional football for the first time, how do you see the Portuguese League?
ES-The Portuguese game is not bad, it demands lots of energy and it is very intensive both with and without the ball which is very good.
EOG-Now that qualification is secured, what are your expectations as you gets set to feature in the topflight next season?
ES-My expectation is that God willing next season I will excel with Portimonense in the Primera Liga and possibly move to one of the biggest clubs in the World. I am also eyeing a national team call up whether the Ghana National Under 23 or the Black Stars I am ever ready to prove myself and show everyone what I can do.
EOG-How is the living in Portugal
ES-Portugal is a wonderful country, with loving people and everything is cool here for me. Also there are lots of Ghanaian footballers and other Africans here especially from Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde so everything is fine.
EOG- Who is your role model
ES-My role model is Marcelo but I also like David Luiz
EOG-How did your success story begun
ES- I am someone who comes from far and my back ground is very bad but I always worked hard and prayed to God to help me so that I can get a better place to stand and come back to my family and help them and by the grace of God it is happening. I have been in so much pain before getting to this far. I started from a team called Manal FC in Abelenkpe, from there I went to the Milo games in Sunyani with my basic school Apenkwa Presby and scouts from Redbull Academy saw my talent and picked me. I spent three years in Redbull but I got injured and they asked me to go back home. I cried always as I went home because some of my friends always made fun of me that I have been sacked by Redbull.
I had a friend called Gideon Attoh who was my team mate at Redbull, I once called him to allow me to come and stay with him and his family at Dansoman as my friend’s at my mother’s place were always mocking and making fun of me. Initially my mother and grandmother objected the idea of me going to stay with someone but I insisted and went. I later joined a club at Dansoman called Barcelona. One man called Charles Manu saw me and liked how I played so he took my number. However, I and Gideon got sacked from their house so I had no option than to return back to my mum’s place.
I said it to my mum and my self that if I don’t make it big in life I will never step to her place again. I spoke to one man who had a barbering shop in Dansoman to just give me the chance to come and sleep at his shop every evening after he had finished working. He agreed and I slept at the Barbering shop for one year as I continued my career with Barcelona again.
Dansoman United expressed interest in me so they made me to come and stay in their club house, the man called Charles Manu who had collected my number sometime back together with Francis Morton, Coach Jojo Ampah and Alfred Nelson got a trial for me at Unistar Academy. I excelled and they signed me, Mr. and Mrs Kuffour at Unistar Academy took me as their son and made sure I went to class and also played my football.
Unistar Academy took me to Airtel Rising Stars games in Nairobi Kenya where I took three man of match awards and the overall best defender. I returned back to Unistar and Mr. Kuffour told me that there are many agents chasing me so I should prepare as I will travel soon. I prayed to God to open the way for me and make it happen.
I played a Tournament at Liberty Stadium not knowing the Agents who were chasing me were all around. I was selected after the competition and from there I moved to Spain to play for Getafe u17 and 19 from there I moved to Real aviles and to Atletico Madrid u19 for 4 months and then to Portimonense where I signed my first professional contract.
It hasn’t been easy for me before getting to this far and all I want to say is a very big thanks to God and my family especially my mother and grandmum as well as Mr and Mrs Kufuor, Gideon Attoh, Francis Morton, Coach Jojo Ampah, Charles Manu, Coach Nsiah of Manal FC, Mr. Abu, Coach Tijani and everyone who has played a part in my career.
Thank you also Edmund for this interview.
EOG-You are always welcome