Former Ghana international Laryea Kinston may have seen football in some big destinations in the world and made a big impact for club and country in general but has one big point of pain.
According to him, it is a low point which comes back to haunt him. The former midfielder was a key requirement in Ghana’s qualification campaign ahead of the nation’s historic first qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 2006 but unfortunately was not named in the final squad for the tournament.
On the May 9 edition of the Joy Sports Link on Joy 99.7 FM, Laryea poured out his heart.
“It was very difficult, even to date. When I think back, it is still very difficult. When you ask me today if I am happy with my career? I will say yes apart from the World Cup appearance. Every player’s dream is to be at the World Cup.”
“If you sit back, watch the World Cup and observe the way the players were giving their all and playing with enthusiasm and thinking at the same time, that I couldn’t play let alone have a taste of it. It really hurts.”
The former Lokomotiv Moscow player takes consolation in the possibility something very negative could have happened to him if he had made the final squad for Germany.
“In all, I say maybe it was meant to happen that way. Maybe if I had played in that World Cup it would have rendered me unable to play football again. So I just consider it a blessing in disguise,” he said.
The moment of trouble
An incident in a group game between Ghana and Senegal at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nation’s in Egypt triggered Laryea Kinston’s absence from the tournament.
Kingston in the 62nd minute clashed with Habib Bei of Senegal resulting in an altercation. Kingston was sent off by Referee Abderrahim El Ajourne, as a result, and both players subsequently banned for four games each. The Black Stars won that game by a lone Matthew Amoah goal.
Ghana’s Serbian trainer at the time, Ratomir Dujkovic excluded Laryea Kingston from the team for Ghana’s first appearance at the World Cup, which was greeted with great enthusiasm in the country. Interestingly Ghana made it out of the group stage, meaning Laryea could have played.
The new Laryea
Laryea Kingston is now coach of the Under-18 side of the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.
The previously exuberant Laryea who previously wore dreadlocks now has shorter hair, a cut beard with strands of grey.
He is more calm and collected and tells Joy Sports he has gained great experience at Right to Dream which has affected him and his temperament positively.
“In the early stages of my coaching career I hardly had any patience but I do now. I give the players the opportunity to express themselves. That way I am able to get the best out of them,” he said.
He is currently working on more badges and looks forward to producing great players and winning trophies.
He also made his debut international punditry job with African pay-tv giants DSTV SuperSport for the entire duration of the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
“I am grateful to all media houses in Ghana who gave me the platform to build myself. Those moments have now proven very beneficial because they positively affected my output at SuperSport.”
Laryea Kingston is a product of Ghana’s Accra Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics.
He also had a fair share of playing his trade outside his native Ghana. It saw him play at Terek Grozny, KyrilIa Sovetov Samara and Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia, Hearts of Midlothian in Scotland, Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
He also had stints with Dutch side Vitesse Arnheim and Phoenix FC in Major League Soccer in the US.