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Gideon Baah


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Essien backs Ghanaian youngster for Chelsea stayChelsea star midfielder Michael Essien has called on his English club to make the stay of Ghanaian youngster Gideon Baah permanent.The 16-year-old is in his second week on of trials at Stamford Bridge after beating off competition from 32,000 applicants in a football reality show.Baah impressed coaches of the Chelsea academy in his first week and has won hearts at the club after a fine display in training.Black Stars ace Essien says his compatriot should be given a permanent contract at the Chelsea academy becasue he is talented."Everybody is happy with how Gideon played in the first week with the Chelsea academy," Essien told Ghanasoccernet.com ."I have monitored his performance from afar and I think he is capable of fitting into the academy and progressing to reach the first team."I am not saying this becasue he is from my country but becasue he is a talented player as people at the academy are saying."I am conifdent that if he is given a contract here he will develop into a world-class player for Chelsea and can also develop to help my country."I took him to the to meet some of the first team players and this experience has increased his desire to stay and I am confident if he is given the chance he will excel."Baah, who has been given the number 52 jersey at Chelsea, outwitted five players including the keeper to score during Wednesday's training.He will complete his stint with Chelsea later this week
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Over the past fortnight, our Cobham training ground has played host to the winner of a Ghanaian Football Icon-style competition, who has spent time training with the youth team, and even befriending our own Michael Essien.

Gideon Baah, 16, beat off 32,000 other entrants on the Sports Academy programme, aired by Metro TV in his native Ghana, and won the opportunity to come to Cobham and be a Chelsea player for a fortnight.

In that time he has impressed with his footballing skills, as well as forming close bonds with his temporary team-mates, in particular Nana-Ofori Twumasi, who is also Ghanaian born.

'My team-mates have helped, especially Nana, who has helped me out a lot and helped me get on with the other guys. He gave me a nice reception and I'm really impressed with his behaviour. The first day he gave me a pair of boots which I am using now.

'I am really enjoying myself. It's all about training, I'm coping with it, it's a little bit different to the drills I am used to back in Ghana,' he said.

'This is more professional, and I am trying to cope with things and doing the best I can. The facilities here at outstanding, the best I have ever seen. If I compared them to anywhere else, they are world class facilities.'

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Gideon has left quite an impression on the Academy staff at Cobham, and has been rewarded with visits to Stamford Bridge for our recent home games with Sunderland and Valencia. He admits he has been in dreamland since his arrival.

'I couldn't believe it because it was a tough race, down from 32,000 to 14 for the show. It was really tough and each week someone had to go home, it was miraculous. At the declaration of the result I was so surprised and happy,' he beamed.

He feels he has learned a lot in his time here, and is grateful to Essien, whom he naturally looks up to as a role model back home in Accra.

'Michael is the main man looking after me, letting me meet all of his colleagues, the John Terrys and Frank Lampards, and letting me feel like I am at home, treating me well,' he said.

Essien has been just as impressed with Gideon, and has even invited the youngster to see his house.

'He has done really well, winning from 32,000 players and has done well for himself since he has been here,' Essien said.

'He is trying here and hopefully things go well for him, I've seen him once and he has a great left foot.'

Gideon is due to return home this week, but the experience he has gained stands him in fine stead to achieve his ultimate goal, which of course is to develop into a professional footballer.

Source: Chelsea FC

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Gideon Baah, Future Chelsea FC Wonderkid?

December 19th, 2007 by Marco Pantanella

Earning the respect of Michael Essien (which may well be a fellow Ghanaian, but is also a player of international level and member of one of the top 10 European teams), that’s no easy feat. Earning the respect of the entire Chelsea youth team after only 1 week of trial, that’s something even more special. But getting the aforementioned Essien to recommend you to the Chelsea board for a quick contract, before the other clubs snatch you… now we’re talking wonderkid material! The fairy tale of Gideon Baah, now at his 2nd week of Trial at the Chelsea FC Youth Academy, seems to have no end.

Last month, Baah was the winner of a football reality show (”Metro MTN Sports Academy“) in Ghana, whose main prize (on top of cash money (~$5000), a Hyundai Accent car, and a all-expense-paid trip to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup) was the chance of a 2-week trial at Stamford Bridge. The 16-year old youngster managed to beat off competition from 32,000 other applicants to win the reality show in Accra, thus earning his ticket to London. So far Baah’s experience with the Blues has gone so well, that Chelsea’s star midfielder Michael Essien has recommended the board to offer the lad get a real contract.

“Everybody is happy with how Gideon played in the first week with the Chelsea academy” said Essien to Ghanasoccernet.com. “I have monitored his performance from afar and think he is capable of fitting into the academy and progressing to reach the first team. I am not saying this because he is from my country but because he is a talented player as people at the academy are saying. I am confident if he is given a contract he’ll develop into a world-class player for Chelsea and can also develop to help my country“. Essien concluded: “I took him to the to meet some of the first team players and this experience has increased his desire to stay and I am confident if he is given the chance he will excel“.

As for Baah, who by the way is a left-footed offensive midfielder, the youngster still seems to be on cloud nine after the first week. “I can’t believe what is happening to me“, he said. “I am positively surprised with the support I have received from Essien and what he has done to help me since I came here. You wouldn’t expect a player of his calibre to come down to the academy let alone coming to visit me and also to give advice and support. (…) This is what has pushed me to do more here so that I don’t disappoint him because he has put his heart on me to stay here.“On top of Essien, Baah also received the full nod of approval from the Chelsea junior team captain, Nana Twumasi (who was also born in Ghana, but has a few caps as a junior England international). “Gideon is a fantastic talent with amazing skills and he has already won many hearts here at the academy“.

The only dark shadow in Gideon’s fairy tale seems to be the truth regarding his (surprise surprise)… age. Not uncommon amongst African players (Martins anyone?) there seems to be a discrepancy between his profile from a group of Ghanaian soccer sites and that of the Metro MTN website: the former tag the youngster with 16 years, the latter with 20. Until that’s cleared up, the youngster (who has been given the number 52 jersey at Chelsea) keeps scoring goals and impressing his watchers (during last week’s Wednesday training, he outwitted 5 players including the keeper to score into the empty net).

Other tidbits about Baah (from his Metro MTN profile) are that his favorite color is sea blue, his international idol is Kaká, and that he dreams of winning a UEFA Champions league trophy with a European club.

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Well i would assume that part of the deal to bring him on trial with us would be some sort of first option on the player. The age thing could be an issue clearly, being 4 years older that what is said could explain why he has been so strong playing with the academy.

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