Kumasi Asante Kotoko recently strengthened the depth of their team with the acquisition of Umar Bashiru. The former WAFA star’s inclusion in the Porcupine Warriors’ set up will be an advantage to the team because of the quality he possesses says Godfred Budu Yeboah. Among the few wave of emerging talents highly tipped to take the world by storm, the new Kumasi Asante Kotoko man Umar Bashiru stands tall. The youngster’s fledgling displays already indicate he could one day attain such status.
As a child, the 22 year-old New Zongo( Kumasi) born was always seen glued to the television set watching football, kicking imaginary balls in the living room, cheering himself as one of the thousands of imaginary supporters from the sidelines. Fast forward to today, kid’s play has become a reality, in a way that has superseded all dreams. “I really love football. Everything about it excites me. I remember how I used to play football with my friends on the streets of Kumasi; how I always skip classes and feigned illness just to play with my friends, it was fun.” He told kickgh.com
Umar Bashiru’s immense talent was spotted at a very tender age while playing for Barcelona FC, a colts club in his vicinity. It didn’t take long for the youngster’s talent to be spotted by scout of West African Football Academy (WAFA) who quickly swooped in to get him in their fold and with whom he spent four seasons.
The midfielder admits he couldn’t have wished for a better footballing education than what he had at the Academy.” I enjoyed every minute of playing football at the academy; it was great being a kid and doing something that you really love with some of the best footballers from across the country. My four seasons stay with them was one that really benefitted my development as a pro footballer. I learned a lot there and the memories still linger even though I have now joined Kumasi Asante Kotoko.” He chimed in “It was great to have been part of it, I’m really grateful to them for giving me the chance to spend my formative years there- to learn football and to learn to be a good person.” He quipped
Umar Bashiru plays as a defensive midfielder and occasionally as an attacking midfielder. He is an energetic presence and provides plenty of cut and thrust in the middle of the pitch. He’s strong and good in the air, blessed with an ability to change direction with almost effortless ease and his balance on the ball- combined with a great awareness of what’s around him makes Umar Bashiru a capable all-rounder for his position. He ticks all boxes. The versatility of his prowess has won him the affection and admiration of all who have seen him play.
His ascent shows no sign of slowing, with the 22-year-old having a lot to offer. It’s easier to count the top Premier League clubs which weren’t interested in signing Umar Bashiru in the last five months, than those which tried to acquire him. However, the towering utility player had other plans: he rejected all possible moves and chose to join Kumasi Asante Kotoko. “I had no difficulty opting to play for Kumasi Asante Kotoko; the club represents what I call an ideal club.”He gushed.
“It was one of the easiest decisions I have taken in my short time of existence. We share the same beliefs and philosophies hence my decision to join them.”
Included in Kotoko’s team to participate in the CAF Confederations Cup next month, Umar Bashiru believes it isn’t too late to make things happen. ” It’s not late to make things happen. We can if we all muck in. It is not beyond our reach. We must be hungry and purpose in our minds to improve every day. If we have this mentality, it will not be difficult to overturn the situation and bring smiles back to faces of our superiors and teeming fans.” He confidently said.
Bashiru is faced with a fight to gain a first team spot, as he is surrounded by experienced and equally talented midfielders who have seen it all as far as the local league is concerned, but the young prodigy feels that’s mainly down to the tactical nous of Coach Akonnor. “There are a lot of good midfielders in the team and that would automatically make competition very keen. I’m ready to compete because I love competitions. It brings out the best in me but the onus lies on the coach since he would have different approaches to games.”
He shows an incredible maturity for a player of his age and has the mind and calmness of an experienced international player. Creative and dynamic at the same time with good ball control, outstanding temperament, Umar Bashiru has all the ingredients to thrive at Kumasi Asante Kotoko.