So I wandered about one afternoon at Aboabu, a suburb of Tamale-Ghana. At sundown, I was around the Metro Mass Station and decided to go and watch football at the cluster of fields in the famous forest nearby. It’s a hub of football in the mornings and afternoons that has birthed many footballers, past and present.
By sheer coincidence, the first piece of action I saw set my mind into thought and dazed my eyes. There was a tall, lanky, barefooted kid who was head and shoulders above everyone else, with a gait akin to that of Argentina legend Juan Roman Riquelme.
This kid readied himself for a long ball and as it beckoned, with an opponent in pursuit, he chested the ball into space with the swagger of a master, and then rolled it with his right sole as it touched the ground. It was an orgasmic flash of brilliance completely unscripted or foreseen. I fell in love, at first sight.
My curiosity led to enquiries and Abdul Moomin Mohammed, popularly known as Mahey became a case study. A player of Real Republicans, coached by the legendary Alhassan Dawuo, my craze got me closer to the iconic Colts club just to watch this boy in matches. Mahey never ceased to amaze.
Information would spread about a young boy with incredible talent. He exuded brainwork that belied his age. Gifted with technique, Mahey boasts of impeccable ball control, accurate passing, shot power and the knack for hustling for the ball. As a deep lying midfielder, he dictates the pace of play with admiration and is capable of threading through the final pass with style.
Mahey’s talent took him to Charity FC, a Division Two side at Kaneshie in Accra. He would spend two seasons there, a period that saw them take part in numerous tournaments in Accra and Kumasi. In doing this, he would impress scouts, local and foreign, with his ability on the ball. The passage of time made it clear that his days in Ghana were numbered.
Portuguese giants FC Porto were nosing around. They took notice and never looked back. An invitation for trials came in earnest but COVID travel restrictions had other ideas. Upon easing of restrictions, Mahey jetted to Portugal to kick-start what should be a brilliant career.
After training with the Porto U-19s for some time, and playing in friendlies, the inevitable happened. He has been offered a six-month loan deal with option to buy. Haven put pen to paper, Mahey knows his work is cut out for him. A remarkable run of form, laced with eye-catching performances is all he craves. To make a loan deal permanent and possibly break into the first team, his feet must do their job.
No one who has watched this youngster will doubt him. He has got tremendous talent to succeed. Talent alone though, is not always enough. It needs associates in the form of prayer, hard work, determination, amongst others. Perhaps, soon, the next Thomas Partey will be on the horizon. Mahey cites the Arsenal star as his role model, alongside Leicester City’s Nigerian international Wilfred Ndidi. Go for gold, Mahey.
Yours in the beautiful game