31st of May marked 3 years when Akaminko sustained a horrific ankle injury that nearly ended his career and halted a possible progress to the next level of his career during a World Cup warm up match against the Netherlands in the United State
It happened in the dying minute of the game when the former Hearts of Lions man went for an aerial ball and landed awkwardly, tearing an ankle ligament in the process
Jerry Akaminko was Ghana’s most in-form defender heading into the 2014 World Cup at Brazil and was almost guaranteed a starting place or at worse in the 23 man squad.
He was at the time being courted by Galatasary, Fenerbache and a host of teams in Europe due to his rock solid performances in the Turkish League which saw Eskisehir sporemerged as one of the best defence in the Turkish Super Lig two seasons in a row.
The injury kept him out of active football for the best part of the two years that followed; his club released him and teams were reluctant to sign him because of his long term inactiveness and injury record. The once sought after defender reportedly got close to a number of deals in the US and other countries but none materialized.
Thankfully, he was re-signed by his former Turkey team after they were relegated from the Turkish Top flight league and Jerry Akaminko hasn’t looked back since then
Eskisehirsporis now on the brink of qualification to Turkey’s top flight having secured a place in the final of the playoff against Gostepe on Sunday 4th June, 2017
After exactly 3 years of absence from national team duties, Jerry will gladly welcome his recent call-up by coachKwesiAppiahwho was the Black Stars manager when he nearly ended his career in National colours with joy and nostalgia.
He has been through hell and lost so much because of that unfortunately incident and to be recalled after 3 years makes all the effort to be back worth it
Over the years, a lot has been said about bonuses given to Black Stars Player. Maybe the story of Jerry Akaminko; how one friendly match destroyed years of effort to gain back his place into the national team should open our eyes to the fickle nature of a footballer’s career and how it can end with just a tackle so that we match that with reasonable bonuses without presenting them as parasite on TAX payer’s money
It is okay to compare our players’ bonuses to how their counterparts in other countries are paid but the reality is that the security a UK player has isn’t the same as that of a Black Stars.
In Jerry, we see a player who nearly lost it all because he featured for his country.
Coach Kwesi Appiah also deserves an honourable mention here: aside earning a place in the team due to hard work, he has demonstrated sensitivity to little details by not forgetting Jerry and rewarding his loyalty, pain and hard work with a call-up to the national team.
This is a good message to other players and could only have come from a Ghanaian coach.
Isaac Kyei Andoh