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CCF Rebooted 35: Kevin Amankwaah
CCF Rebooted 35: Kevin Amankwaah
Friday, 8th Jul 2022 07:50 by AtThePeake

I'm Amankwaah, I'm Amankwaah, I'm Amankwaah yes I am, but I'd rather be Amankwaah than...

Position: Right-back/Centre-back

Arrived from: Burton Albion

Left for: Exeter City

Played : 2011-2012

Appearances : 16

Goals : 0

One positive of being a League One club, even struggling towards the bottom of the table, was that we were able to sign players you recognised as being solid, dependable additions from the lower leagues. The negative appeared to be that they never actually turned out to be that way.

Being born in Harrow to Ghanaian parents, Kevin Amankwaah made his way through the youth ranks with Bristol City and made his debut for the club aged just 17 in 2000, quickly earning himself a call-up to the England U18 squad but managing to earn just one cap in a 2-0 win over Luxembourg.

Still just 19, Amankwaah suffered neck injuries in a car crash involving a couple of other apprentices at the Robins and despite such a promising start, his game time was limited in the following years when he recovered from the injuries, and he spent time on loan in the fourth tier Torquay United (6 appearances, 0 goals) and Cheltenham Town.

Another loan spell followed in 2004/2005 with Yeovil Town, and after nine appearances the deal was made permanent, with the right-back heading to for the Ashton Gate exit having made 56 appearances with one goal to his name.

Amankwaah made a further six appearances for the Glovers that season, helping himself to a promotion back into League One in the process. He made a further 38 appearances the following season before being lured to Swansea City for a fee of £250,000, believing that another promotion into the Championship may give him the opportunity to represent Ghana at international level.

He played 29 times in his first season at the Liberty Stadium as the Swans narrowly missed out on the play-offs, but failed to make a single appearance in the following season as Roberto Martinez led the club to the League One title.

Unsurprisingly, another move was on the horizon that summer and Swindon Town would be the destination, where Amankwaah enjoyed the best spell of his career. It was in Wiltshire that he developed more of a reputation for attack-minded full-back, even playing in a wide midfield role on occasion.

While at Swindon, Amankwaah was involved with a controversial incident involving Neil Harris of Millwall, with the defender taunting his opponent about his battle with testicular cancer during a match. Amankwaah later apologised and made a donation to Harris' Cancer Charity.

Over three seasons, Amankwaah was near enough an ever-present, until the emergence of Nathan Thompson saw him relegated to the bench and with Paolo Di Canio looking to restructure the side, the full-back decided to move on, this time heading to the Midlands to join Burton Albion.

Eight games and six months later, Amankwaah had his contract cancelled and Chris Beech was ready to swoop and secure another short-term signing to try and help his struggling side.

After some minutes from the bench in his debut at Stevenage (the less said about that game the better), Amankwaah started playing at centre-back alongside another natural right-back in Dean Holden as Beech clearly felt experience was more important than signing players to play in their actual positions.

To be fair to these more experienced players, they did seem to steady the ship at first, with Dale actually keeping four clean sheet in Amankwaah's first seven games and the Ghanaian did manage to keep his place in the team after John Coleman was hired, which bode well for his future at Spotland.

With Stephen Darby keeping him out of the right-back slot as he had during a previous loan spell at Swindon, Amankwaah played mostly in central defence alongside Kevin Long, but while the Burnley loanee showed his class as his time with the club went on, Amankwaah's confidence seemed to dip dramatically.

Using his considerable size, he was strong in the tackle and and in the air, but Amankwaah's decision making at times left a lot to be desired and there was a general feeling of 'this could go anywhere' when he shaped up to play a pass any further than 10 yards.

After falling out of favour in February, he returned to the squad in place of the injured Darby in the latter weeks of the season, but his perofrmances in these games did little to convince either the fans, or more importantly John Coleman, that he was worth another deal.

He had a relatively strong season with Exeter City the following year in League Two and was then a regular starter for the first-half of the 2013/2014 season with Northampton Town before having his contract cancelled during the January transfer window.

From there, Amankwaah dropped into non-league to join Salisbury City and after 14 appearances for them dropped another level to the Conference South to join Sutton United. He became a key fixture of the U's side over his three seasons at Gander Green Lane though, helping them to promotion back into the National League at the second attempt.

In 2017/2018, he left the London club to join Bath City, where he made 13 appearances before finally hanging up his boots. He now works as a personal trainer and can be found on Twitter at @fitness_vibez.

Photo: Action Images



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