A Young Ghanaian defender, Samuel Ofori has been named the best foreign player in Tajikistan.
The feat was chalked after his first season in the Tajikistani league where he features as a top defender for club side, FC Ravshan Kulob which gained a historic qualification for the AFC Cup.
He brushed aside a stern challenge from Glib Grachov of Ukraine, Gonzalo Ritacco of Argentina, Kosmynin of Belarus, Samandor Ochilov of Uzbekistan, Sergey Garanzha of Russia, Tony Bikital of Cameroon and Innocent Kouassi of Cote d’Ivoire.
Ofori, 23 has played 20 from the 22 league games for Kulob in the 2022 Vysshaya League campaign, missing the other two only through suspension for accumulated yellow cards
In the end, the lanky 6’1 ft defender’s aerial prowess and presence at the back propelled Kulob to the runner-up finish in the Asian country, just a solitary point ahead of both 3rd and 4th placed, FK Khujand and FK Khatlon respectively.
The award pushed Ofori above the over 70 foreign players in the Tajik league in 2022.
Striker Iddris Aminu fired in the goals to power champions Istiklol Dushanbe to the title by a massive 13 points, and deservedly made the top three of the best foreign player race alongside compatriot Godson Quaye, goalkeeper of fourth placed FC Khatlon.
“I feel great because I worked really hard for this and it makes me so happy to be recognised, considering the many good foreign players in the league. Hard work pays so I’m going to work even harder to achieve my dreams,” said Ofori who is currently on holidays in Ghana.
Speaking to the Times Sports, Ofori’s local manager, Mr Evans Bernie-Johnson, praised the defender for settling well a season after leaving South African second tier, Dolphins.
“I’m extremely proud of him. There are so many great players but my boy was able to beat them all to the award, glory be to God. This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see him play for a top club in Europe and the Champions League soon; not forgetting the Black Stars of Ghana.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER