Almost every footballer surely dreams of playing for their senior national team when they are at the top of their game.
For some this dream becomes reality, for others they see their hopes dashed and their dreams cruelly cut short due to unforeseen happenings.
One of such unfortunate players is the former Asante Kotoko captain Prince Adu Poku.
Adu Poku has exclusively told Football Made in Ghana how an accident suffered in 1999 jeopardized his chances of being a Black Stars regular.
Once tipped for greatness, the former Black Starlets attacker could never go wrong with his career trajectory.
His spell with Ghana’s U-17 side in 1993, earned him a transfer to one of Ghana’s biggest club sides, Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Adu Poku will endear himself into the hearts of the millions of Kotoko fans nationwide and eventually inherit the status as the poster boy of the club.
All was rosy for the local hero who had a dream of transferring his stardom to the national level.
Then comes November 1999; just before preparations for the African Cup of Nations a year later had begun.
While performing for Asante Kotoko, Adu Poku was hugely tipped to wear the national colours at Africa’s flagship football tournament.
On November 21, he received an invitation to a rally being organised by Kotoko’s Supporters group in Takoradi.
Adu Poku successfully made it to grace the occasion, however, his return journey ended up differently.
A career-threatening accident meant he was ruled out for the long term and effectively ruined his chances of being part of Ghana’s preparation plans for the AFCON tournament.
Adu Poku has been sharing his sad ordeal with FMiG’s Sheikh Tophic in an interview which featured in the maiden edition of the Football Made in Ghana Podcast titled Tales from the Past.
He narrated his story as follows; “After the U-17 championship, they graduated us into the U-20 and we represented at Malaysia 93 world youth championship”
“That time they did not really call the local players, they mostly fell on those playing abroad”
“1999/2000 right before the AFCON tournament, that year was supposed to be my year”.
“Unfortunately I had an accident on November 21, 1999. I was invited for a rally by Kotoko Supporters at Takoradi, so after the rally, I had an accident when returning to Kumasi”
“That really ruined my chances, because if not for the injury I should have been part of the team. So that really affected my chances” he lamented.
Ghana eventually co-hosted the AFCON 2000 tournament with Nigeria. The Black Stars’ adventure was cut short at the quarter-final stage following a defeat to South Africa.
Adu Poku will later return to playing football again but never got close again to a national team invite.
Till date the player believes but for that accident, it would have been a different story being told now.