Jul 16, 2010 13:55:00
Amamoo has covered a range of subjects exclusively with Goal.com's K.N.S Mensah.
Ghana international goalkeeper William Amamoo is aiming for good times with his Israeli side Hapoel Petah Tikva that would propel him for the Black Stars in future. Speaking exclusively to Goal.com’s K.N.S Mensah from his base in Israel, he spoke on his future with the Black Stars, the controversial Jabulani football, his relationship with current goalkeeper Richard Kingson and his views about coach Milovan Rajevac.
Amamoo was the Best Goalkeeper in Romania in 2003 after playing 18 games without conceding a goal, and also in 2007. He won the same award in Hungary back in 2006, including the Best Save of the Season, for finishing in fourth position with his club.
Goal.com: How is it going with you in Israel at the moment?
Amamoo: By God’s grace everything is going well. I had my first game last night and it was a goalless draw. So I am happy to start on a sound note and to have returned to the Premier League again where I have featured for three seasons in Egypt and Romania.
Goal.com: What do you make of the Black Stars’ performance at the 2010 World Cup?
Amamoo: They really made Africa proud with that vintage performance. At a point in time there was no African side, but they held onto the flag of the continent and took us far. It was a turning point for Ghana and African football. We should be proud of them.
Goal.com: Did you watch Ghana’s last game against Uruguay and how did you feel afterwards?
Amamoo: I watched only the matches Ghana played and when we went out I couldn’t watch the 2010 World Cup again. I was highly rooting for Ghana because I knew we would go far but it is just unfortunate we went out under circumstances beyond our control. I felt very sad because most of the players are my friends. We graduated from the U-17 in 1999 and U-21 in 2001 so it was a painful moment. I was hoping we could be the first African country to make it to the semi-finals. I think Uruguay were luckier than us.
Goal.com: Your thoughts about Luis Suarez ,who blocked the ball from the goal with his hands?
Amamoo: I don’t think Luis Suarez should be given extra punishment for doing that, although I support changing the laws of the game. If it was the other way around we would have also done the same thing. It was an act of patriotism, but painful for us. All the same I think that rule should be reviewed to allow for a goal if a last player blocks the ball with his hands from entering the goal.
Goal.com: What is the future of this Black Stars team?
Amamoo: I foresee a bright future for Ghanaian football. We have a lot of upcoming stars who have already proven themselves for the future such as Andre Dede Ayew and Anthony Annan. It looks very bright. I personally think we must also commend coach Milovan Rajevac for taking a very bold decision to blend both young and experienced players. We must also not forget about coach Sellas Tetteh for scouting for most of these players.
Goal.com: What should be the future of the coach as his contract expires in August?
Amamoo: It would be a good decision for the Ghana FA to retain him. He was virtually an unknown coach before taking on the Black Stars job but he has proven himself, beyond expectations, and his critics wrong. He qualified us for our second successive World Cup and took us to our first quarter-finals, won silver at the 2009 CHAN and Nations Cup in Angola 2010. This is incredible. I think our FA should do everything possible to keep him because I have also heard that a club in Qatar is after him.
Goal.com: How has your last game for the national team against Japan treated you?
Amamoo: I think Ghanaians should be more patient and calm down because that was not my first game for the Black Stars. My first game was against Australia in Sydney and I played well to keep my post. Then after that I was part of the World Cup qualifying team until we qualified with Sudan. I played against Zambia in London and we won by four goals to one. So I was shocked when we lost against Japan and some Ghanaians made a very big case out of it. There were better goalkeepers who conceded worst goals at the recent World Cup. For players, whenever they make a mistake a colleague can stand in for them but with us it will end up in the goal. I think Ghanaians should have considered the other games I played prior to this match against Japan.
Goal.com: But how did you feel after that result against Japan?
Amamoo: It was unfortunate but everybody saw how the goals came. I think my critics should go back and watch the clip again. I substituted Richard Kingson when the score was 1-0 courtesy of an Asamoah Gyan penalty. I then assisted in the second goal with a long pass to Gyan to make it 2-0 for Ghana. From there then the problems began but how it started, anybody who would watch the game again would see it. I hate doing the blame game.
Goal.com: Would it be fair for a goalkeeper to blame the ball for certain goals conceded?
Amamoo: As a goalkeeper you should be prepared for any ball. I don’t think the goalkeepers at the World Cup had a better excuse for blaming the Jabulani football for some of the goals they conceded. Every country was given the Jabulani to train with prior to the World Cup so they should have known how it works.
Goal.com: What is your future with the Black Stars?
Amamoo: I still have a future with the team. I am just 25 years old and the national handlers call me often to tell me that my future with the team is bright. Richard Kingson has also been calling me every time. What Ghanaians don’t know is that the two of us are on very good terms. He has confidence in me that I can take over from him. He was even surprised that I was omitted from the World Cup squad. I am on very good terms with the football authorities back home.
Goal.com: Tell us more about you and Kingson.
Amamoo: When he was in Turkey he used to bring me kits when I was playing at the colts level. He saw that I had the talent and the potential to be in the national team. We have been long time friends like I was with Sammy Adjei – the former national team shot stopper.
Goal.com: Any recommendation son how we can build a solid team?
Amamoo: Ghana are one of the few teams that go to every tournament with new faces of goalkeepers and that is worrying Ghana soccer. Most of the European countries maintain their keepers despite shortfalls along the way for them to gain more experience and confidence. We need to maintain our keepers to develop with time. We have a lot of talented players so I’m not surprised every time we keep changing in that area. But then also I think we should approach it gradually. But this tournament has really proven that Ghana can do without others.
Goal.com: Your goal for your current club.
Amamoo: I think the future is bright. I have met a goalkeeper’s trainer I would love to work with. I’m receiving one of the best trainings ever and I hope to take the club far this season. I know it is not going to be easy but I’ll sail through.
Goal.com: Are there some people you would love to show gratitude to for bringing you this far?
Amamoo: My appreciation goes to Azumah Nelson [former world boxing champion] he was like a father to me when I was young, the MD of Blue Jeans Nana and my late father for bringing me up to love my country. He was more or less like my coach when I was young and taught me most of the things I am applying now. I remember he once told me never to turn my back against my country. His words have guided me. For this, I had to be with the national team when he died two days before one of the World Cup qualifiers against Libya, Gabon and Sudan. I made a patriotic decision to honour the country’s invitation ahead of his burial. Our game against Japan was the first time I came home without seeing my dad. It was a sad moment for me. Also, to Richard Kingson, for being my best of friends in the national team.
Goal.com: Final words?
Amamoo: I want to tell Ghanaians to have patience with the players. I want to assure them that I will be back shortly with the national team with God on my side. I need the prayers of everyone.
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