Goal.com's Kent Mensah has a look at the striker who has taken Africa by storm in the 2012 Caf Champions League and reveals the reasons behind the 24-year-old’s success storyBy Kent Mensah
Ghana international Emmanuel Clottey has goal scoring prowess in his genes. The forward’s lethal strikes in the 2012 Caf Champions League have compelled several European clubs to revise their transfer notes as the window draws to a close.
The 24-year-old has 11 goals to his name, including two hat-tricks in the elite continental club competition. He has set a target of 18 goals before the tournament comes to a close.
“It’s always good to have a goal in life,” Clottey told Goal.com Ghana. “I believe I can reach that target and I have always been training towards that. I have always believed in myself and with God all things are possible.”
The striker has been exceptional in his side's debut appearance in the continental club flagship tournament, despite being paired in a 'Group of Death' among the likes of former champions Zamalek and Al Ahly of Egypt, as well as four-time winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo.
His goal scoring proficiency and fighting spirit have helped Berekum Chelsea to survive in the competition in which Ghana’s two main clubs – Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko – have struggled to make an impact in recent times. The last time a Ghanaian club reached the business end (money zone) of the Caf Champions League was six years ago.
Clottey’s motivation for attaining such a feat is to make a case for talented players, who find themselves in Ghana’s poorly funded and least followed lower leagues, which is where he has emerged from.
He said: “We have a lot of players in the Division One and Two who are doing very well, but nobody is paying attention to them. All they need is a little push and you’ll see the wonders they can do. I’m coming from there so I know how it feels. That’s what has motivated me up to this stage. I’m proud of my roots.”
In 2000, Clottey joined Brazil Academy, a youth club in Accra at age 12 and played for the Under-14 side. He then spent 2001 to 2004 at Mighty Victory Sporting Club, another junior club, where he sharpened his goal scoring instinct. While at Mighty Victory, Clottey won the goal king accolade in the Under-17 division in the 2003-04 campaign aged 15.
His deadly strikes at such a young age shot him to fame and gained immediate promotion to the Ghana Premier League when he signed with Great Olympics in 2004 as a 16-year-old. In the 2006-07 season he finished the term as the top scorer with 14 goals out of 21 appearances for the Wonder Club.
Hat-trick Hero | Clottey has shined in his debut Caf Champions League season
His brilliant output caught the eye of Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck and Danish club Odense BK. However, his spell with both clubs on loan between 2007 and 2008 failed to yield any meaningful results, hence his return to the Ghana top flight with new club, Eleven Wise. He later moved to Tema Youth before joining his current side, the Blues.
Clottey has gone through the football mill and has played pivotal roles right from his days with the Black Satellites (U20), Black Meteors (U23) and finally the senior Ghana national team.
“It’s a dream come true, but I still believe I have more to give. I’m taking it easy and I’ll like to thank all those who have supported me up to this stage to still have me in prayers. I’m most grateful for the World Player of the Week prize from Goal.com. It serves as a great source of motivation,” the goal scoring machine acknowledged.
With his eyes firmly on breaking into the national team as a starting player, the 24-year-old also hopes to play abroad in future to further his career. However, before that happens, he is set to take the 2012 Caf Champions League by storm.
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