Howell reveals how a 'bar DJ' made him sign Albert Adomah

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The Ghanaian's former boss has revealed how a disc jockey at his bar introduced the midfielder to his club at a tender age

Ghana and Aston Villa midfielder Albert Adomah realised his dream as a footballer thanks to a disc jockey who spotted his talent and linked him with a club, according to former Harrow Borough FC boss David Howell.

The 30-year-old was introduced to Howell twelve years ago, and the lower division coach gave the Ghanaian the chance to train with his club.

“I lived in Hammersmith and Albert [Adomah] lived in Askew Road in Shepherds Bush, which is just around the corner," Howell told Express Sports.

“I used to do events managements and I had a bar that I used to manage in Covent Garden called The Spot, which later became The Jewel. I used to DJ and book other DJs and one of the DJs I had said, ‘Dave, I’ve got this player for you, he’s young, he’s local’. I used to always say, ‘just give them my number’. 

“If they call me it shows they’re interested and keen. They’ve got to do it all themselves. Don’t give me any contact details for him, if he’s serious and he wants to be a footballer, he’ll get in touch with me," he added.

“The first time, Adomah trained with the youth team on Monday, played on Wednesday and on Thursday I had him training with the first team. I took him off after 20 minutes. I’d seen enough and I knew he had potential to be a star.

“The fact that he lived round the corner from me en route, I used to pick him up and drop him off after training and matches. It was good and bad for him because he used to get an earful all the way in the car. I think he was relieved when he finally got home and I’d open the door and let him out," he said.

“The lads started calling him Son of Howellsy. Everyone was going home or drinking but when I left he had to leave or if I was staying late he had to sit in the bar and wait. 

“I started playing him in the first team but he wouldn’t last longer than an hour,” he said. “After 15 minutes of the second half I’d take him off, his socks would be down round his ankles, he was very slight. It was something completely new to his body. 

“It took him a little while - not long, just a few games - but he was getting fitter, getting stronger and lasting a bit longer. 

“Always I was doing it to protect him and making sure when he’d come off he’d given everything," he added.

Howell, however, believes Adomah's qualities deserved a move away from his club to a higher one, as he worked out a move to Barnet for him.

“He became an integral part of our side and he was obviously good enough to move on. I’m from this old school where if someone’s good enough, we do our best to help him move on. I’m not keeping him to make me or my team look good at the detriment to the player’s ambitions. The club knew that and were happy to have had Albert for the time that we had him. 

“I thought I better get someone who would look after him. I knew an agent through my own contacts in event management that I thought would be good for Albert and I said to him, ‘Look, I want you to look after him’. He said, ‘Alright, where can he play, what level?’. I said, ‘Premiership’. I wouldn’t push a player unless I thought he had something. 

“He didn’t even see the player and took me on my word and he got him a move to Barnet. About two weeks ago I got a call from his partner and they were doing a surprise 30th birthday party for him,” said Howell.

He added: “He had people there that were part of his footballing journey. He’d introduce them all to me and say, ‘If it wasn’t for this person…’ and I was like, ‘Albert, stop this please, mate.’ 

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“I was like his mentor, I did take him on. I did tell him it’s not just about football, it’s how you conduct yourself. It was almost like a life experience with Albert, trying to make sure he’s on the right road.”

Adomah, who has scored 11 goals this season, was part of the Ghana squad that played in the 2014 Fifa World Cup hosted in Brazil.

 

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