Daniel Lomotey, Diawisie Taylor, Kwame Opoku and the likes often grab the headlines because they score the goals that win their team games.
Goals usually end attacking moves but there is always someone who operates as a playmaker to bring control and start these attacking forays. Playmakers are usually the difference between winning or losing a game.
The likes of Zidane and Iniesta were engines behind their teams’ goals and successes.
They scored goals and gave assists, but their game went beyond just that. They impacted football matches through line-breaking passes, their movement and ability to find space.
In the Ghana Premier League this season, Gladson Awako, Salifu Ibrahim and Augustine Boakye have been the heartbeat of their teams and have been by far the best playmakers.
THE DADE MAGICIAN
Gladson Awako has brought a sparkle to the local league and been livewire of Great Olympics’ impressive run.
The midfielder has won four man of the match awards in 11 league games, with the latest coming in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Hearts of Oak.
In that game, the former Berekum Chelsea player showed his dexterity once again as he marshalled the central part of the field for Olympics with finesse.
The Wonder Club captain was named Ghana Premier League Player of the Month for December, beating off competition from Techiman Eleven Wonders’ Salifu Ibrahim, Augustine Boakye from WAFA and Elmina Sharks forward Benjamin Tweneboah.
He has proven to be the league’s most attractive and talked about player due to his performances.
The magic in his touches, creativity, dribbling and technique on the ball has attracted a lot of plaudits.
The diminutive midfielder’s decision to return home and relaunch his career has paid off as he is fast becoming a household name with many clamouring for his inclusion in the Black Stars. Awako has five goals and three assists to his name.
Olympics, after dominating the league in the ’70s, have been considered a bottom-half club in recent years. However, it has been a completely different situation this season as they are contention for the title thanks to an Awako-led team, who has almost 50 goal contributions for the Accra-based club
THE PRECIOUS STONE – AUGUSTINE BOAKYE
Boakye is currently the Ghana Premier League player with the most goal contributions. The Academy Boys have scored 20 goals after week 11 with the player involved in 13 of them, scoring four and assisting nine.
He is the only WAFA player to score in three consecutive games – against Elmina Sharks, Eleven Wonders and Berekum Chelsea.
The left-footed playmaker assisted four goals in the 5-4 win against Medama – the first time a WAFA player has done that. Boakye has won three man of the match awards with his latest coming against Liberty in that 5-0 humiliation at the weekend.
He scored a goal and provided an assist as the Academy Boys routed the Scientific Soccer lads on Sunday at Sogakope.
Good midfielders love having the ball and constantly demand it of their teammates. They do this by showing up for the ball and moving into space to create better-passing angles.
The youngster falls under this category. He has been a precious stone for the club since being promoted from the WAFA youth side.
The power in his left foot can only remind you of a player like former Ghanaian International, Sulley Muntari.
He is very confident, a good passer of the ball, and perilous to handle.
Due to his energy, and both defensive and offensive capabilities, he can contribute at both ends of the field in an all-round manner.
Eleven Wonders’ Salifu Ibrahim, nicknamed ‘Techiman Di Maria’, has been one of the top performers in the league.
The left-footed midfielder has scored once and made four assists in 11 games while racking up five man of the match awards.
He won his fifth of the season when Eleven Wonders beat Karela United 3-1 on January 10.
The youngster has inspired the transformation of Wonders from relegation battlers to a fine mid-table side.
His ambition and drive to win is what has brought him this far this season.
After winning his first two man of the match awards earlier this season, the 20-year-old publicly stated his target for the season is to win 10.
A TRIO TO LOVE
So far, Gladson Awako, Augustine Boakye and Salifu Ibrahim have lit the league with their stellar performances.
Awako has been the backbone of Olympics’ title charge this season.
Boakye has inspired WAFA’s free-scoring of goals this season.
Salifu has also transformed Eleven Wonders to a fine mid-table side this season.
With more than half of the season left to play, the race for the best player of the campaign is surely going to get more intriguing with these players ready to battle it out for the coveted award.
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