Coach Kwesi Appiah was recently unveiled as the head coach of the senior national mens’ football team, the Black Stars. Among other things he said during his unveiling was to give Ghanaian footballers excelling everywhere in the world, an equal opportunity in the Black Stars team setup, particularly during his helmanship term. The just ended European season saw a lot of Ghanaian footballers not only making waves, but also exhibiting scintillating performances in their respective clubs. Some won silverware; others helped their club’s to avoid the drop;some caught the attention of the media and others did not. Among those whose wonderful displays missed the lenses of the media is Greece based Owusu-Ansah Kontor.
The Kumasi born and raised chap who currently plays for AE Larissa in the Greek Superleague had previously played for Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Serbian clubs Metalac GM and Novi Pazar. “Well,my professional career began when my club, then Kumasi Asante Kotoko went on trip to Serbia under the technical guidance of Bogdan Korak.We played series of friendlies there and gracefully my output was enough to attract some clubs in Serbia but I settled on Metalac GM.” “Playing in Europe that early in my professional career didn’t come easy. I had to go through a lot but I was empowered to take them all in my strides and it’s been a worthy experience.” He recalls.
As with most full-backs, Kontor loves to get forward, but it’s the manner in which he attacks that really makes him stand out. He’s absolutely relentless, marauding into advanced positions at every opportunity and using his searing pace and direct running to make a difference high up the pitch. Kontor effectively combines sound defending with forward raids- he ticks all boxes. He’s an energetic presence and provides plenty of cut and thrust down the left flank but isn’t found wanting defensively. Due to the changing and the challenging nature of football, many a footballer is expected to be ready to execute his assigned responsibilities efficiently and effectively regardless of the position. Luckily, Kontor has a wise head over on young shoulders and is thus all revved up to meet the exigencies of the modern game.
The 23-year-old can play as a defensive midfielder and a winger. He provides hard running, solid positioning and astute awareness without the ball, working aggressively to make opposition players sweat. He’s strong in his tackles and a shrewd interceptor of the ball, while also intelligent in possession and rarely beaten when coming against pacier wingers. One quality of Kontor is his long thrown-in ability reminiscent of Rory Delap.
In the just ended Greece Superleague season, Kontor featured twenty-one times for his club who placed thirteenth. The season was difficult for AE Larisa but the sparkling displays of Kontor was one of the positives fans of the club could take pride in. “It was a very difficult season for us as a club but we managed to beat the drop. Such things do happen even to the renowned clubs in the world. We will surely bounce back.” For now, Kontor seems happy to remain at AE Larisa and continue his development but with the list of potential suitors increasing each day, it’s hard to imagine AE Larisa holding off and not succumbing to the pressure.
Khalid, the wind behind Kontor’s sail was full of praise for the young footballer and prayed he soldiers on till he gets the needed recognition he deserves.“Kontor has really improved and I do not regret investing in him. He possesses all the qualities he needs to thrive.I believe in his talent and capabilities and and I know it won’t be long, the world will hear of him. He has a lot freshness; he has no ulterior motive. Technically, he has developed well in the clubs he’s played for.” He told Ghanafans.com
Kontor is optimistic of donning the jersey of the Blacks Stars soon, representing his motherland in the World Cup. “I have a lot of football in me so I just need to concentrate on working hard and hope I go into the good books of coach Kwesi Appiah within the shortest possible time. I know the competition into the team won’t be rosy but I’m prepared to battle my way through.”
His verve and creativity has won him admiration from all who have seen him and would thus be a good addition to Kwesi Appiah’s Black Stars.
OWUSU-ANSAH KONTOR ► Best Skills ● AE Larissa 2016/17 ● Left Back