Just a season ago, they outclassed, outmuscled and outscored their competitors to win the coveted Ghanaian Premier League- their first. With this momentous feat, they became the first club from Northern Ghana to achieve this feat. The city of Wa and Northern Ghana at large was thrown into a state of frenzy and merrymaking. There was an air of forced gaiety among the followers of the club who showered praises on their heroes and prayed for more successes in the years ahead. The club was tasked to replicate their fine form in Africa as representative of the country in the prestigious CAF Champions League.
Fast forward to today, things have changed. It may seem a surreal, but the reality is Wa All Stars have had a tumultuous season. First, they were knocked out of the Champions League by a Libyan club at the preliminary stage. Domestically, the ‘Blues’ lie 12th on the log with 25 points in as many as 21 matches played making their chances of defending their title very slim. A lot has been attributed to their abysmal showings.The exit of some players allowed to seek greener pastures, injuries to their stalwarts could also be a contributing factor. In the face of all the adversities befalling the Wa based club, lies a “diamond” who seems to have caught the attention of the Ghanaian football populace with his thought-provoking football proclivity.
David Abagna Sandan is the ‘diamond’ in the struggling Wa All Stars’ side. Born in Tamale and as with many great footballers, David’s talent developed on the street with countless hours of joyful play and practice. A skinny, lively little David was always seen kicking a ball around on pavements of streets of Tamale. The quickness of mind and foot; the agility and perfect balance and taut which characterizes his play now was actually visible in his early years. He joined Zaytuna Babies, a Colts club and played for them till he completed Senior High School last year (2016).
Earlier in 2012, David partook in the GLO Soccer Academy Project, a project facilitated by African telecommunication giants Globacom to unearth talents in Africa. Luckily for David, he was part of the sixteen and one of four Ghanaian finalists who were billed to visit Manchester United but unfortunately, their dream of making that all important trip to Old Trafford didn’t materialise due to visa issues. This was a huge blow for the youngster but with a faith of a prophet and nerves of a steel, he soldiered on. “I can’t explain how happy I was when I was told of my inclusion into the final team to visit Old Trafford. Visiting Old Trafford was a dream come true. I recall having dreams of me having a feel of the trophies in their trophy cabinet and snapping pictures with the likes of Rooney and Scholes only to be denied visas for the trip. In the end, we were compensated with a trip to Dubai.” He told GhanaFans.com
Abagna joined Wa All Stars in the second round of last season from Zaytuna Babies, making nine appearances with two starts. When thrown into the deep end, you either sink or swim. David Abagna Sandan, who was given his debut against Berekum Chelsea at that young age, is practically floating on a lilo sipping ‘Sobolo,’a popular Ghanaian drink made from the Roselle leaf. He’s considered one of the best talent to emerge from the domestic league in recent years; it’s easy to understand why. The midfield maestro is rarely flustered and always in control.
Abagna is a versatile midfielder who’s dedicated, hardworking, humble and open to learning. “I earn a living through playing football so anytime I go to the field, I make sure I give out my all to help the team and in doing so, I avail myself to criticism both on and off the field, because that’s the way to improve.” Modelling his game on Barcelona ace Iniesta, the youngster thrives in creating for his colleagues but is also adept to finding the back of the net himself. Abagna isn’t to be taken lightly in the final third, finding the net six times in the league, scoring two in the FA cup, recording an assist and winning five MVPs corroborates how gifted he is as a midfielder.
Abagna possesses a fine first touch and terrific footwork and is blessed with an ability to change direction with almost effortless ease, and his balance-
combined with a great awareness of what’s around him- makes him a constant threat. However, Abagna admitted that the start to his Wa All Stars career was very challenging. “I had to adapt to a lot of things that I wasn’t used to, both in terms of playing and life in general.” He quipped. He’s thrived with added responsibility at his club this term, often proving to be his underachieving side’s sole shining light. With greatness beckoning towards him, the midfield sensation need to eschew complacency to have his name etched in the country’s football folklore.