Interview: Derrick Mensah talks about life at Czech side Banik Ostrava

Derrick Mensah

Derrick Mensah

Ghana youth midfielder Derrick Mensah talks about life in Czech Republic after completing his  move to Banik Ostrava.

What does it mean to be part of the Banik team?

It’s a new experience for me and also a good step for my development. I do not know exactly how large a change in my life is, I believe, I still have much to accomplish. In Banik I will get a chance to play in a league competition, which I think has one of the best young talents. ”

How do you like it so far in Ostrava?

From what I’ve seen, I like it here. I like the environment here in the city and the club. In the beginning, when I first arrived here it was quite cold, but I’m used to the weather now.

You were reported to have signed for Club Africain after the African Under-20 Championship.  What happened?

After the Africa Cup, we got a lot of offers, but my former club Tema Youth decided to arrange a transfer to Tunisia. Due to non-compliance I decided not to sign the contract and returned to Ghana. ”

Then you had stint at Athletico Madrid, what it was the experience like for you?

In athletico I spent five months. After three months I started to train with the A team, which was a good experience. I trained with the likes of  Arda Turan or David Villa. Realistically I have to admit that they are very experienced players. For me to get to their level, I need more time. I talked with coach Diego Simeone, who told me encouraged me to work hard.

Now you have become part Banik. What have been your impression so far?  

The team is very good to me. They are all friendly to me and help me a lot. Some guys had already played with some Ghanaian players in the past.  They have all tried to help me when I arrived. They taught me a few words in Czech, which helped me a lot.

After your arrival in Banik, there have been talks about communication barrier between you and the coach Francis Kom?ackým. Has this aspect improved?

I think the language barrier is a common problem if you find yourself in a foreign country,” he told the club’s official website. But thanks to Davor Janko communication with the coach is now easier. Moreover I’m trying to learn the Czech words, and therefore may be in a few months, I will understand the coach better.  I’ll be more understanding. Football has its own language which can be picked up quickly on the field.”

In addition to the foreign language, you have to get used to a different style of football.  What are the biggest differences between Ghana and Czech football?

The difference that I have noticed so far is the character of the game. When I came to Banik they told me I had to play hard, but for me it was normal, because I’m used to that style from Ghana. I Ghana we play the Brazilian style, which means we keep the ball a lot.

We have now successfully completed your registration. What are we to expect from you in the blue and white jersey?

“I’m glad that everything is finally settled. When I learned that my ITC was still not available, I was very sad. But as the saying goes, God knows what he’s doing and knows what is best for humans. So I was able to put up with it. Now that everything is okay for me, it is time for me to help Banik as best as I can.  When I get the chance to play, I will contribute hundred and ten percent. I’m fully focused not only in games but also in every training session.

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