Adomah's rise to the top

Bristol City winger Albert Adomah will be capping a remarkable rise from park football to the Africa Cup of Nations this year.

 When Ghana face the Democratic Republic of Congo on 20 January in Port Elizabeth the pressure will be back on the Black Stars and even a newcomer like Adomah is aware of what this means to Ghanaians.

He says: “It's been a long time since Ghana won the Cup of Nations but this time around as one of the favourites I hope we can lift it. It's pressure but because we have a strong team we believe we can do it.”

Ghana are up against DR Congo, Mali and Niger in Group B.

“Our group is quite hard. Mali are one of the favourites and always give Ghana a hard game. DR Congo will also give us a hard game but I think because we are one of the favourites the pressure will be on us to come out on top.”

Winning another Cup of Nations has become a cause celebre for Ghana in the way Brazil searched for the World Cup between 1970 and 1994. It means the aforementioned pressure that comes every time the Black Stars play is ratcheted up a notch or two more come the Cup of Nations.

The last Black Stars victory was 31 years ago.

“I think in a tournament like this every team will feel the pressure. It’s not like we are the hosts. I think they will feel more pressure. There will also be less on us once we come top of our group.”

Adomah missed out on the pressure last year when he was left out of Ghana’s final squad. This year though he has been in the form of his life, and having moved from Barnet to Bristol City 18 months ago has been able to catch the eye of Black Stars officials, leading to his debut against Brazil in September 2011.

“My current form is the best I've been in. It's a shame the team (Bristol City) are not doing so well. I just have to look forward and be positive but it's a shame the club are not doing well.”

He’s found settling into the Ghana squad and international football fairly easy.

“All the players are really friendly and I felt at home the first time I went to camp. The hospitality and atmosphere is incredible. Its like older and younger brother and everyone treats each other like an equal no matter which league they've come from.”

 “Even though you've come from a lower league you have to be one of the best to play international football. Everyone's technique and end product is immense whereas in the lower league you can lose the ball on the pitch but in internationals everyone looks after it and keeps it. That’s why they are the best players in the country.”

Born in London, Adomah lived with his grandparents in Ghana until the age of nine. He played in the Amateur Football Combination for Old Meadonians before moving to non-league Harrow Borough aged 18. 

Adomah studied for an apprenticeship in painting and decorating at the same time but was eventually snapped up by Barnet in 2008, where he was sponsored by BBC commentator John Motson. 

He’s now been handed the legendary number 10 shirt, in the absence of Marseille star Andre Ayew. 

"Not long ago I was working and just playing in the park. I used to watch people like Asamoah Gyan on Match of the Day and now I'm actually playing in the same team as him," he said. 

"I even used to be Ghana on Fifa and other computer games but now I can pick myself in the team. It's unbelievable." 

Adomah added: "In Ghana, the number 10 shirt is very important because of Abedi Pele so straight away they assume that I'm there to fill his son's boots. 

"But it's only a number so I'm just trying to play my game and do my best. It shows faith that the coach gave me the number but I don't feel any extra pressure because of it." 

 

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