Ghanaian teenager Yeboah Ankrah elated after Serie A debut

Philip Yeboah Ankrah
The 18-year-old reflects on making his maiden senior appearance for Hellas Verona 

Ghanaian youngster Philip Yeboah Ankrah reveals he did not expect to be called upon to play in Hellas Verona's 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday.

The game was his professional debut.

Having made the bench for the first time, the 18-year-old was surprisingly thrown into the fray by coach Ivan Juric, replacing Mattia Zaccagni in the 78th minute.

"I'm very excited for my debut. For the first time, I finally made the bench of the first team. I was really anxious," Yeboah Ankrah told Arthur Legacy media.

"I didn't expect the coach to let me play the game but I hoped until the end.

"I think I did a good performance, I believe I can always do better.

"The coach told me that for being the first time on the football field, I made a good performance. Going forward, I expect to always give my best!"

At 10, Yeboah left Ghana for Italy, where he started his football career. He was discovered by a scout of the Yellow and Blues and joined the club's youth ranks, developing through the system until last season, when he was promoted to the first team.

"We’ve been discussing and looking forward to a debut. But to be Frank, this came in a bit early and it was a surprise. To us it is the door to the career Yeboah has been dreaming of," Agent Oliver Arthur said.

"More respect to the coach. It tells me he has his tactics or plan and doesn't rely on only experienced players. I would say that is a good coach.

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"Yeboah is a strong, fast and a clinical finisher. If he continues with the same focus and determination, he would be a top-level striker in Serie A."

With an eye on a second straight appearance, Yeboah Ankrah will be hoping to keep his place in Hellas Verona's matchday squad for Wednesday's league encounter with Inter Milan.

The striker could be drafted into the Ghana U20 team ahead of the 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania. The team recently won the Wafu B Cup of Nations in Benin.