By: Akyereko Frimpong Manson
Another roll of the dice for the former Ghana U17 hit-man who has joined Ghanaian Premier League side Berekum Chelsea.
The 22-year-old remained a free agent as dawn broke on August 31 and was still without an European club when the 11pm cut-off for deals to be completed passed.
Chelsea, who were desperate to replace the departed Emmanuel Clottey, contacted the former Atletico Madrid striker who agreed to join the Blues on a season-and-half-deal.
He speaks for the first time in an exclusive interview.
Joe Addo, Chelsea’s international relations manager, said the club’s main aim of acquiring Saddick is to help them reclaim the Glo Premier League title which has been lost to Asante Kotoko.
But the big question is; has the man whose brutal shooting instincts propelled him to worldwide recognition after the 2007 U17 World Cup in South Korea lost any of his serial killing abilities?
“I still have my fitness and I haven’t lost any of my qualities. During the pre-season, I trained with a number of clubs including Zulte-Waregem and some other European clubs. I have joined Chelsea’s pre-season campaign and things are going very well. I’m looking forward to the season’s opener.”
Since winning promotion to the top division in 2008/09 season, the Blues have become an established Premier League outfit and just finished third in the Caf Champions League’s Group B featuring former winners; Al Ahli, Zamalek and TP Mazembe and winning the Glo Premier League title and President’s Cup. With the stars assembled at the Golden City Park in Berekum, the bulky marksman is optimistic of his new side’s capacity to stage a challenge for the league title.
“You know Chelsea have gotten to a certain level now. They have won the league title and also performed creditably in their maiden season in the Caf Champions League which is a big thing for the image of the club. One can place them on the same level with Kotoko and Hearts in terms of squad quality so we play to win everything that is at stake and there is also high expectation from everyone.”
In building a formidable strikeforce, Eric Bekoe, the former Asante Kotoko and Petrojet striker, whose proposed return to Kotoko hit the snag in the eleventh hour has also joined the squad. And Saddick is in full praise of his new strike partner.
“He has been here before and also knows the terrain very well. He scored a lot of goals for Kotoko and still possesses some real good qualities so he can also marshal the team very. We just have to produce the goals. I have watched him train and I see he’s a real deadly striker.”
Having played abroad since 2007, the local league might appear a bit strange for most players seeking to relaunch their careers from abroad on the local scene but Adams remains bullish about his chances of impressing.
“I have been at this stage before. I played with AshGold in the top division before leaving for abroad so it isn’t a big deal. You cannot always compare the facilities and structures here to the ones abroad but as a footballer you must always learn to adjust and adapt to new situations so this isn’t a big deal at all.”
As a natural goal-scorer with immense abilities upfront, there are great expectations of the hot-shot and he insists there is still more to achieve.
“I want to finish my career on a real high so this is yet another challenge for me and I must impress. I’m still only 22 and very young and there’s a whole lot left in me. I’m much eager to hit the top. There is still a lot to fight for. Example, experiencing national team football again is on my mind but first, I must focus on Chelsea then I can start thinking about others.”
The Blues who enjoyed a memorable debut campaign in the Caf Champions League open their Glo Premier League season with a home tie against Kpando-based Heart of Lions at the Golden City Park.
“If we mean business we must beat them convincingly because the opening game would send a strong message to other clubs.”