GUBA recently caught up with a Ghanaian star during a visit to his grandparents in Manchester, England and he had some interesting things to share.
Arsenal FC’s Daniel Boateng was born in September 1992 to Ghanaian parents. He joined the club in 2003 and has since progressed through the ranks. The towering 6ft 2inch defender’s progress through the ranks has been an amazing one and he is currently the club’s reserve team captain.
TELL US ABOUT THE ARSENAL FC EXPERIENCE; Well it’s been fun, exciting and amazing… I can think of a million words to describe it. But sometimes it is quite hard to believe I am a part of this prestigious club. When I was only a kid playing for one of the local clubs at Tottenham where I grew up, I used to watch Arsenal on TV and wished that one day it would be me and now, it is. It’s so exciting.
YOUR FAMILY? HOW HAS THIS EXPERIENCE BEEN TO THEM; I have a lovely and wonderful family – my mum who is so supportive (and she is really more than just a mum), for she plays the role of father as well. She’s buzzing all the time especially with how far I have come in my career. I have a brother – Alex who is 18 and a sister – Edwina, 17. They are my friends, always supportive and there for me. I am blessed to have them in my life and I thank God for their lives always.
THE PREVIOUS SEASON WAS A MIXED ONE FOR YOU. A LOAN MOVE TO SWINDON TOWN HAMPERED BY AN INJURY, RULING YOU OUT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. HOW WAS THIS FOR YOU; Swindon was a short but good experience. The coach Paolo Di Canio is quite the disciplinarian. Rightly said it would have been quite fulfilling if not for my injury. I am feeling much better now but in all, the Swindon chapter was a worth it.
THE 2012/2013 SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IT; I am absolutely looking forward to it. I am 100% fit now and I can’t wait for the season to begin. There’s a lot to look forward to.
ROBIN VAN PERSIE IS QUITE THE TALISMAN AT ARSENAL. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF HIS DECISION NOT TO EXTEND HIS CONTRACT AT THE CLUB; To be fair I think the fans and the club have done nothing but love him over the past 7 years he’s been at the club, through thick and thin and he has worked very hard for the team as well. But hey, he probably wants a new chapter in his career and if he feels it is time to move on, I don’t have a problem with that but I wish he would stay. At the moment, he has one more season left with the club – who knows maybe in the end he might even decide to stay.
PROBABLY THE BIGGEST FOOTBALL NEWS IN OUR GENERATION – FIFA GIVES THE NOD TO GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS; I think it’s a good call. It’s about time. While some might argue that controversial decisions add to the drama in the sport, I beg to differ. I think passion from all involved add to the drama. Referees are human like us, they make mistakes but there’s nothing good about losing unfairly especially because of a wrong decision. I embrace this new addition to the sport.
NOW UNDOUBTEDLY THE QUESTION EVERY GHANAIAN IS ITCHING TO ASK – WHO WOULD YOU BE PLAYING YOUR INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL FOR? GHANA OR ENGLAND; I love England, I was born here and all I have known – culture, people, you name it. But my heart will always be for Ghana. And as far as my international football path is concerned am 100% certain that I want to play for Ghana.
WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO THE YOUNGSTERS PURSUING A PROFESSION IN FOOT BALL; I would say please don’t stop your education but be humble, hardworking, take your chances when offered and trust and believe in God.
Daniel Boateng is an exceptional personality on and off the field. He’s definitely amongst those to look out for in the world of football. Watch this space for more from and about him.
We at GUBA wish him all the best in his career and we are all behind him in his endeavours towards footballing greatness
INTERVIEW BY BERNARD KUFUOR for GUBA Awards.co.uk