Training has gone well here in Ghana, where I have been given the opportunity to play myself onto the U20 squad for a qualifying game against Uganda and a friendly against Egypt. It has been great to be a leader back at Iona, and now this chance is very exciting for my future in soccer.
The training camp was grueling and eye-opening, but I definitely learned and improved as it progressed. Rather than a three-day camp, as I had expected, it became a week-long session concluding with two local games. In the first, I started and played 70 minutes, scoring one goal and assisting on another in our 5-1 win. In the second, I was substituted in during the second half, and even managed to score our goal in the 1-1 tie. When decision time would come, coach planned to select six or seven foreign players of the 19 at camp to join the team.
I have kept myself busy for a little while, training with Liberty Professionals FC, a professional team in the area. I have also done interviews and had appearances on Asempa FM, a popular radio station, and The Daily Graphic, a popular newspaper. The African style of play is especially tough and physical, so I need to stay in shape to play my best when given opportunities. I am still adjusting to this style, but I have faith that everything will keep progressing.
Coach told me even before the official release of rosters that I was selected as one of the foreign players to be on his team. It feels great that my hard work thus far has paid off. I cannot wait to keep being a part of a national team.
Pick-up games are common here, especially on Mondays, when professionals come out to play and keep their game sharp. I got to play with some famous soccer stars from this nation, and it has been a lot of fun. In particular, it was great to meet Asamoah Gyan, a Ghana star who is a member of Al Ain. Also, I met two members of the Ghana Black Stars, the senior national team. Afriyie Acquah plays professionally for Palermo in Italy, and John Boye plays for Rennes.
I cannot believe how much more I have gotten out of this experience than I had expected. I look forward to being part of the U20 Ghana team and proving that I can keep playing at a high level.