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Feature: The Unseen Patrick Razak In Umar Manaf, Why Hearts Of Oak SC Will Not Miss PR17

The name Patrick Razak is synonymous to pace and game changing attributes to football fans in Ghana especially supporters of Accra Hearts of Oak SC. The former Bazooka FC speedster monopolized the Ghanaian media traffic during his two year stay with Accra Hearts of Oak SC. From solo goals to explosive pace, PR17, as he was known, eased his way into the hearts of many Hearts of Oak supporters. Like any poster player, his time at the club remains past glory for now with the button in the hands of new players. One of such players seeking to replace Patrick Razak is nimble footed Umar Manaf Gumah.

Many readers will say it is too early to compare Manaf with Razak but I have this question for them, must we wait until Manaf also leave before the comparism? Both players have symmetrical features with slight difference in composure. Patrick Razak used his bulky body and direct pace to torment defenders and opposition players. His magic introduction in the 2017 WAFU final match against Nigeria sums up his ability to change the complexion of a game. Beyond pace and power, was Razak that skilful as seen in Manaf now?

Accra Hearts of Oak SC have witnessed many poster boys in the 21st century including Charles Taylor, Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor, Bernard Don Bortey, Ishmeal Addo, Mahatma Otoo, Wilfred Kobbina and Esme Mends. The club have produced ball jugglers in the last 2 decades and will continue to produce such talent on seasonal basis. The current qualities of Umar Manaf hinted at another star in the making, if he can keep his cool and gather some confidence in the last third of the pitch.

Manaf Umar 986x1024 - Feature: The Unseen Patrick Razak In Umar Manaf, Why Hearts Of Oak SC Will Not Miss PR17
Manaf Umar for Hearts of Oak SC

Like Patrick Razak, Umar Manaf has pace as an asset on the pitch. The Upper East born attacking sensation then spiced his game with South American flair, barely seen in direct players. From the stopovers to the typical ‘rebana’ passes, Manaf Umar has all the qualities needed in a modern day playmaker. A sumptuous 60-meter volley against WAFA SC in the NC Special highlighted the vision of the former Auroras attacker.  To add to his endless list of tricks, the newly promoted youngster comes in with a low center of gravity, making it extremely difficult for opposing players to floor him even at top speed. The stage at which he executes the skill also counts with the football lenses fixed around his feet.

With external motivation from his coach, club supporters and other stakeholders, Hearts of Oak can easily unearth another Patrick Razak from Umar Manar.

Patrick Razak - Feature: The Unseen Patrick Razak In Umar Manaf, Why Hearts Of Oak SC Will Not Miss PR17

Patrick Razak added confidence to his game and that made him the defender’s nightmare, home or on the road. A stadium silencing goal against Asante Kotoko SC at the Baba Yara stadium saw supporters of the Porcupine Warriors applauding the genuine class from the speedster. Umar Manaf Gumah will need game time and self belief to develop such confidence but once that belief is installed into the mindset of the attacker, his name can equally be changed to Patrick Razak.

It might be too heavy for Manaf to shoulder at this stage of his young career but the promises shown by the ambidextrous forward might just see him through. The 2019/20 season is expected to be a litmus test for the newly assembled players at Accra Hearts of Oak SC as the quest for domestic glory takes shape.

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Saani Abacha

Saani Abacha is a sports writer with a keen interest in African Football and a product of team play. I love sports for a reason and derives my pleasure and happiness watching any kind of sporting discipline. Get in touch via Email| Twitter| @Saani_abacha On Whatsup| +233207413977.

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