Ghana’s chief football scout, Ebenezer Sefah has named his top eleven players in the just ended 2016 Ghana Premier League season.
In a season that saw Wa-All stars made history by becoming the first club from the north to win the Ghana Premier League, it’s obvious they will dominate the best eleven players (4) that performed to the utmost in the season gone by.
Coach Eben’s Team of the Season is made up of players who put up sterling performances during the 8-months long season, which sees a 1-4-3-3 formation deployed.
Richard Ofori (Goalkeeper-Wa-All stars)
It will be a travesty to ignore a goal keeper from a title winning side, who was the best in his position across the thirty matches that we witnessed. No outfield player from the title winning Wa All-stars team contributed in a more significant way throughout the campaign for Enos Adepa’s side than Richard Ofori, who produced more saves and clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the league (11).
Simon Sibo (Right Back-Liberty Professionals)
He may not have drawn too many plaudits but Simm Sibo enjoyed a fine season with Liberty Professionals in a season that they almost got axed from the premiership. He just pips Amos Frimpong for the right back slot due to his consistency throughout the season.
Abdul Bashiru (Left Back-Dreams FC)
As a skipper of the side in their maiden season in the league, Abdul Bashiru proved to be a headache for opposing players to beat on one-v-one situations because of his reading of the game. The former Hearts of Oak flop was a constant threat to teams, as he patrolled the flanks with his pace and the thunderous strike he scored Wa All-stars in the first round of the league was a testament of his quality in the final third of the pitch.
Ismail Ganiyu (Centre Back-Wa All-stars)
Another consistence performer for the Wa All-stars team over the season, maintaining usual sense of calmness, composure and concentration in a season where before the start of the league, they were touted as outsiders to triumph. It was no coincidence that they conceded fewer goals in the season with him at the heart of defense.
Inusah Musah (Centre Back-Hearts of Oak)
A player dubbed as a ‘leader of men’ by the vociferous Phobia fans. Inusah Musah was an absolute monster in defence, combining great awareness to danger with unmatched physicality that helped him to shut down most strikers. He only started the season in the second round because of injury he sustained to his knee in the off-season, but managed to pick five man-of-the-match awards, more than any defender in the league.
Akwesi Donsu (Attacking Midfielder-Medeama SC)
Our team of the season would not be complete without the enterprising player. Akwesi Donsu was ever present in Medeama unsteadied season with scintillating displays as he managed to notch up eight direct free-kicks in the league, a feat not even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have managed in the last two seasons.
Saddick Alhassan (Central Midfielder-Wa All-stars)
The saying that the stone that the builders rejected will one day become the cornerstone is a exactly where Saddick Adams found himself, after he was declared as surplus to requirement by Kumasi Asante Kotoko two seasons ago. He combines strength and quality in a manner that very few midfielders in the just ended league can match. He is complete and was of the few Wa All-stars players to play at such level throughout the entire campaign.
Latif Attah Blessing (Attacking Midfielder-Liberty Professionals)
Securing the highest ratings of any player in the league, Latif Blessing notched up seventeen goals to win the Golden Boots. Although his form tailed off in the middle of the season which caused his side slump on the log, he succeeded in keeping his side in the premier league for yet another season after he bagged a hat-trick on the final day of the season.
Emmanuel Ocran (Auxiliary Striker-Wa All-stars)
The quality of the player’s goals in the build up to the title proved vital. After playing largely behind Kweku Asuandzie in the season, Emmanuel Ocran managed to score eight goals which prompted the head coach of Black stars, Avram Grant to hand him his first senior national team call-up against the Amavubi stars of Rwanda in the last match of the qualifiers to the AFCON 2017 in Gabon.
Bright Adjei (Striker-Aduana stars)
He is noted to be the scorer of spectacular goals. Bright Adjei’s vision for goals is of purest level, as exemplified by his wonder goals in the game against Ashgold SC won him the CNN Goal of the Week, and got another nomination for his goal he scored against WAFA. He finished the season with eleven goals and four assists and worked beautifully well with Yahaya Mohammed.
Duada Mohammed (Striker-Asante Kotoko)
In a season where Asante Kotoko failed miserably, Dauda Mohammed was the brightest light in one of the team’s darkest season ever. He did a little bit of everything for the Porcupine warriors attack with his combination of pace, vision, trickery and finishing ability. And due to blistering form, he was invited as one of the six players local players to the senior national team. He concluded the season with eight goals, as his club finished in 5th position.
Coach: Enos Adepa (Wa All-stars)
In his first full season as the head coach of Wa All-stars, Enos Adepa prevailed where well established coaches failed as he delivered the club its first league title. He is noted for his calm manner and astute reading of the game.
Ghana Premier League-2016: Team of the Season
1. Richard Ofori
2. Simm Sibo
3. Abdul Bashiru
4. Ismail Ganiyu
5. Inusah Musah
6. Saddick Adams
7. Akwesi Donsu
8. Latif Blessing
9. Dauda Mohammed
10. Emmanuel Ocran
11. Bright Adjei
Coach: Enos Adepa
12. Ibrahim Alhassan (Left Back- Inter Allies)
13. Amos Frimpong (Right Back-Asante Kotoko)
14. Malik Akowuah (Central Midfielder-Medeama SC )
15. Yakubu Mohammed (Centre Back-Aduana stars)
16. Yahaya Mohammed (Striker-Aduana stars )