I will bounce back in style – John Kuffour
Posted on: Thu Jul 26, 2012
Despite his inability to maintain regular shirt in the Kotoko set up last season, rugged defender John Kuffour is positive of turning things around in the days ahead.
“The downfall of a man they say is not the end of his life. The fact that I could not get enough playing time last season does not mean all is lost. I am working hard to turn things around next season” he told Kotoko Express last Wednesday.
John Kuffour, a native of Obuasi is the last born among six siblings, two girls and four boys. Real named John Tuffuor, the strong defender revealed that he used to admire Samuel Osei Kuffour; former Black Stars and Bayern Munich dependable defender a lot at the early stage of his football career and that eventually changed his name to John Kuffour.
“I used to cherish Sammy Tugah a lot when I started playing football. Whenever there was a football match and I don’t get the number four jersey which Kuffour used to wear throughout his football career, I will not even play the game no matter what my coaches will say. That compelled people to call me John Kuffour right from my Colts days at Sam Jonah Babies up to date” he explained adding that he got the nickname Kohler because people think he has many things in common with former Germany defender Jürgen Kohler.
The well built defender started football as a right full back with the U-14 side at Sam Jonah Babies in Obuasi. Having impressed the coaches within two years, he was promoted to the U-16 side where was converted into a central defender and has since been playing that role.
After four seasons spell with Sam Jonah Babies, he moved to Adansiman and later to King Faisal in the premiership. Because of the experienced defenders like Shilla Illiasu and co that he came to meet at King Faisal, Kohler failed to get playing time and he subsequently returned to Adansiman the following year.
As if he was much interested in the clubs that has “King” attached to their names, he later joined King Solomon, a division one side in Accra. The sterling performance he put up in the division one league that season quickly earned him a call up into the national U-20 team, the Black Satellites in 2009 under the tutelage of Coach Sellas Tetteh.
John Kuffour gave good account of himself and helped the Black Satellites to win the WAFU Tournament in Nigeria. “I was very excited with that success because it was my first major trophy in life”.
Unfortunately he could not make it to the final team and later won the Africa and World Youth Championship in Rwanda and Egypt respectively though he played in some of the qualifying matches.
On their arrival from the WAFU Tournament in Nigeria, premiership side Kpando Heart of Lions expressed interest in him and duly registered him for the 2008/09 Glo premiership. He exuded much confidence and strength to the delight of Heart of Lions supporters that season and the following season.
He said for his two seasons stint with the Kpando based team, he met the Porcupine Warriors seven times in all competitions which his side won five, drew one and lost one. He added that they also met Hearts of Oak on five occasions; won four and drew the remaining game.
Explaining what motivated him to always play it hard against Kotoko and Hearts especially, Kuffour said “If you are a player in the local scene and you want to make a name for yourself or draw people’s attention, you can quickly do so by dealing with these two big clubs. This inspired me to go all out wherever I met them”. He also stressed that he does not fear any striker regardless of his name or form.
After a successful two seasons spell with Lions, Kuffour switched camp to Kotoko in the 2010/11 football season. Though Coach Ebo Mends who brought him into the team parted ways with Kotoko after their 0-1 defeat to Hearts in the first round of the 2010/11 Glo Premier League in Kumasi, Kuffour never felt disappointed and helped his side to finish third.
But not much was seen from him last season as he featured in four matches, three in the league and the other in the MTN FA Cup against Amidaus at Tema where he scored an own goal in Kotoko’s 0-2 defeat to the division one campaigners.
This notwithstanding, the former Heart of Lions player believes he has what it takes to fight back for his position next season. He said he was going to embark on intensive training in order to regain his form and make amends of all his failures last season
“There have been ups and downs in my performance since joining Kotoko but I am not disappointed. I have put everything behind and focusing on my training because once there is life and strength I can do all things next season” he stated.
By: Bernard Nyankomago Yeboah
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