Ngaruawahia United AFC has a new player on one of their teams and he has travelled all the way from Ghana.
Isaac Tetteh with play for the club over the next four months
“I need to play outside my country, I need a new challenge… to see what I can do here.”
The opportunity arose when he played for global football project Red Bull Ghana where the 21-year old worked with former All White James Bannatyne who was the goalkeeping coach.
He’s been in the country for less than a month and it’s already been quite an experience.
The day after arriving, he played in the wet weather for the club’s Thirds team and helped win the game.
And the cold was a huge change compared to the 30 degree winter weather in Ghana.
One of the biggest differences was the number of clubs which have their own buildings and the quality of the fields.
“Not all the clubs [in Ghana] can afford pitches like this….[and] not every club has these club houses.”
Bannatyne said he only spent three months in the west African country as the project was closed down.
However he kept in touch with Tetteh as he saw potential for him to progress in the sport.
“I always thought he’d do well overseas….he’s got a great attitude, a great goal keeper [and] he’s great with kids.”
He thought the small North Waikato club was a great place to start as it had a supportive environment.
President Jared Williams said the club had hosted international players before but not from a place like Ghana.
And he said it was big process to get him to New Zealand.
But it’s well worth it not only for Tetteh’s experience but local players as well.
“We’re always looking for an opportunity for anyone to come out to New Zealand and advance their career..[and] we always try to influence local players.”
The likes of former Everton reserve player John Irving was even part of the club in 2013.
Stuff.co.nz, North Waikato News, Caitlin Wallace, July 05 2016