On matchday one of the Ghana Premier League, Hearts of Oak beat 1-0 New Edubiase at the Accra Sports courtesy debutant’s Sam Yeboah’s late strike.
Among the highlights at the stadium on February 21, was the large crowd which came to witness the new look Hearts team under their new Japanese American trainer Kenichi Yatsuhashi. The presence of the large Japanese following did not escape the attention of the media neither did the new Hearts jersey.
But one person stole all the headlines: It was not the goal scorer but another debutant who was in the number 8 jersey, Samudeen Ibrahim.
The reigning Division One Best Player was the toast of the fans with his tantalizing trickery and ball control.
Joy Sports George Addo Jnr, who was at the stadium to run commentary, described Samudeen as 'an almost complete player' who could dribble and most importantly have an eye for the pass.
Communications Director of the GFA, Saanie Daara, in an interview made mention of the fact that Samudeen was a delight to watch and players of his caliber where only going to attract more fans to the stadium.
Fast forward to two months, and the exciting young schemer is yet to kick a ball again following his exploits on the opening day.
He had been touted as the heart and soul of Kenichi’s sushi tactics, but that has been proven to be a fallacy as Hearts have gone on to record some impressive performances and results notably away to Medeama and Inter Allies.
In one facet, this is testament to the good work the Japanese American has done but in other aspect, it could mean Samudeen will have a huge mountain to climb should he regain full fitness.
He was expected to return during the matchday 3 encounter against Dwarfs. Days have turned to weeks and weeks have turned to months and Samudeen seems to have disappeared from the limelight especially with the arrival of Techiman City’s Baba Mahama, who has been surprisingly excluded from the local Black Stars team by Maxwell Konadu.
In Samudeen’s absence, Cosmos Dauda has filled in expertly for him managing to score a goal and assist one. Some Phobian fans have already began to think about their team for the Super 2 clash against Kotoko without him in a fortnight’s time
This is not the first time a Hearts player has been touted for greatness without living up to his billing. The case of Kofi Abanga and Emmanuel Hayford cannot be forgotten. Both were flamboyant, skillful and had the eye for a pass. For both of them, they spent more time on the sidelines than the pitch just as Samudeen is doing.
We wish Samudeen a speedy recovery hoping he discovers his form which made him sought after in the off season and fire Hearts to a potential league victory but for now, he is gradually vanishing from sight.
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