KOFI Danning was the star of the A-League first round. The 18 year old Ghanaian refugee set up the first goal and scored Sydney FC’s second in what was a sublime display of raw speed, natural skill and movie star charisma.
Danning is one of the few players featured in the A-League promotion campaign that can actually do the tricks that are shown in the advertisement.
The outrageous skill, mature composure and football intelligence that Danning showed to set up John Aloisi's first goal was just a tease of what was to come.
And what came next the English language is too weak to describe. The individual brilliance to score Sydney's second goal highlighted the right winger's amazing confidence he has in himself and also the great courage he possesses to even attempt such a move.
It's the same feeling I got when I first saw Nicky Carle in action. Sure, they are two different players but they illicit the same feeling of excitement and anticipation when ever they are about to play.
Not to forget John Aloisi - the man looks fit and hungry. Will his two goals silence the boo boys?
The display of Danning and Aloisi made me also forget that Sydney FC blew a 2-0 lead, conceding two soft goals to let Fury back in the game. With the score at 2-2, Sydney FC were lucky Alex Brosque never gave up the fight and won a penalty, allowing the Socceroo's Penalty Hero (TM) his chanc.
It's only the first round and it was only the second time the defensive line played together so it's no use going off at them just yet. I'm just too excited about Danning and Aloisi's performance to look at the negative stuff.
Some people in the media are praising John Kosmina for finding Danning and giving him a chance to play. The truth is, it takes no Einstein to see a good player.
Consideration must be taken into account that last season sacked ex-Sydney FC coach John Kosmina waited till round 19 before he decided to play Danning, instead choosing the likes of the old and ineffective Bobby Petta.
Here is what I wrote in my blog just a few days after round 14 finished:
More Kofi Please
"There was a National Youth League Game played before the A-League where Sydney Youth left winger Kofi Danning was impressive yet again (as was most of the team). Kofi is in the AIS so for some games he flies up from Canberra the day before the game. It's a crime this kid has not been given a run in the first team yet. He is quick, skilful, explosive but invisible to the first team coaching staff.
"Modern football is played in one form or another with counter attacks, players being able to move quickly from defence to attacking positions. We just haven't got the cattle; our players are too slow; in the head, in the heart, and the running part as well.
"Wasting talent is such a waste. What do we want? Youth, damn it!"
Here is what I wrote after round 19 when Koffi Danning made his debut:
The Satisfaction Of Hunger
"SYDNEY FC live to fight another day and it took a 17 year old refugee from Ghana armed with fleet feet and cult status already to announce to the A-League "the kid can play!"
Australian players have a history of being late bloomers, no thanks to coaches with a nepotistic streak who pick average, older aged favourites over young talent. Kofi Danning is a refugee from Africa and there are more and more African refugees like him making a name for themselves all around Australia's football pitches.
These African players are ready to go they have natural skill, hunger and dedication; all of these are waiting to be ignored or coached out of them by clueless teachers.
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka along with his assistant Michal Zach coached the under-20 Czech side and they are no fools. Luckily the new Sydney FC coaching team recognises Kofi's talent. It is going to be a joy to watch him play this season.