Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, captain of Ghana’s U-20 and striker of new Premier League champions, Hearts of Oak was in inspiring form during the business end of the season. As ridiculous as it may seem though, the striker was not known by all members of the Phobia top hierarchy.
Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe who is a member of the board of directors for the club has admitted to Joy Sports that at the time he first met the player during the u-20 tournament in Mauritania, he was oblivious of the fact Barnieh was a member of the Hearts squad.
However he admitted he became a big admirer of the striker at the climax of the tournament, and is proud of the impact he made to Hearts’ season.
“Barnieh’s case is interesting. I watched Barnieh in the last match they played Mauritania, when he was the captain of the u20. I told myself, this is a good player. By then I didn’t even know he’s part of the club. I wasn’t aware, I’m being frank with you. But when I watched him train, I said ‘this boy had to be watched’, but he was hardly fielded by the coach. At times he’ll come in for five minutes, ten minutes.
“So one time I remember I told the board ‘this boy Barnieh, you people should try him. Barnieh is definitely a brilliant footballer, very silky, has the strength’, and he told me ‘oh doc, it seems you’re thinking about the same thing’. So I said okay, let’s see. We’ll find a way to make the coach know, we’ll suggest to him. As I said earlier, the coach is a listening coach. He tried him one time, the second half about ten minutes to full time then gradually it increased and now he’s sealing his position and brought a lot of changes,” Dr. Nyaho said to Joy Sports.
Barnieh, Salifu Ibrahim, Obeng Junior, together with Richard Attah, Fatawu Mohammed and a host of members of the squad, sealed their names in the history books of Hearts after delivering the club its 21st league title, the first in 12 years.
Ghanaian clubs failing to hold on to the best of their talents has become an unfortunate love story. Asante Kotoko will definitely be one of the biggest losers of this season, after selling Kwame Opoku to USM Algiers in the middle of the season – a period where winning the ultimate looked possible as the striker was grabbing the goals for the Porcupines.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe is adamant Hearts of Oak will not part ways with key players of this history breaking squad. He emphatically stated the only chance of the club selling any player, is going to come at the end of next season’s CAF Champions League campaign, where players will be at a premium should the continental masters come out successful.
“I can tell you not a single player will be sold to anybody. We know what we are about. I don’t think funds are our problem. Those that we think are good for us will definitely be maintained and when we go to CAF and come out with flying colours, whatever price any club wants from us, must be a high price, not this USD 100,000 and 200,000. We want prices that will click the millions of dollars,” he stated.
Hearts of Oak will be handed the Ghana Premier League trophy after their last game against WAFA.