He may have only played the final ten minutes of Brisbane Roar’s season opener against Central Coast Mariners, but it can be said that Kofi Danning has already started to win over the club’s most faithful supporters.
He may have only played the final ten minutes of Brisbane Roar-s season opener against Central Coast Mariners, but it can be said that Kofi Danning has already started to win over the club-s most faithful supporters.
The youngster-s speed and determination were late highlights in the 1-0 victory and underlined exactly why Head Coach Ange Postecoglou moved quickly to sign him from Sydney FC in the off-season.
At only 20-years-old, Danning already has a wealth of footballing knowledge under his belt and it-s hard to find the Ghana-born striker without a huge smile on his face.
Brisbaneroar.com.au caught up with Danning after training on Monday afternoon to ask your chosen questions from Facebook and Twitter.
1.What is your oldest memory from football from when you were a little kid?
My oldest football memory is probably watching Brazil play in the 1998 World Cup final against France. I guess it wasn-t a good experience seeing them lose because I cried even though I-m not Brazilian but it was a great game. To see the quality and class of Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and all the biggest players in the world at that time, made me want to be like them.
2.When you were younger, what part of your football did you work on the most?
I think when I was a kid I focused on individual skills, dribbling around cones, passing the ball, just trying to make new skills and be like my heroes at the time, especially Ronaldo. I thought he was the best player to ever play football so if I could do what he did, then I would be just like him - in my imagination anyway!
3. Who has been your biggest influence as a player?
Growing up in Canberra, when I first arrived in Australia, my first coach Mal Barac helped me a lot and guided me a lot from junior, to the AIS, to National Youth League with Sydney FC. He was a big part my development and after arriving at Sydney, Steve O-Connor and the older players like John Aloisi and Steve Corica really helped me a great deal. Terry McFlynn was very nice to me as well. I found that all the players wanted to give me that extra push. Simon Colosimo, he always got stuck into me as well saying “Kof, there-s a reason that we-re doing this and it-s because we you to be as successful as you can”. For me, someone who had just come into the set-up, it meant a lot to me to have players of that calibre saying that to me.
4. What were the key factors when deciding to sign for Brisbane Roar?
I think the biggest thing was looking at how everyone in the team had improved and looking at how they played together as a team. For me, that was something I had always wanted - a team that I could fit into and make a difference in. Ange gave me the opportunity to develop, he told me about the structure of Brisbane and he said he can guide me to the path, but I also have to be willing to get there myself. Ever since arriving here, the boys have been great and Brisbane life has been amazing. I feel at home even though I-m not.
5. You looked like you enjoyed yourself greatly last Saturday night despite only getting about 10 minutes. What's been the biggest difference between your time at Sydney and your time so far with Brisbane?
It-s hard to explain because I had a great time at Sydney and I enjoyed every experience out of it and I loved the lifestyle. I think I made a name for myself at Sydney. Here, I think the number one thing I have to focus on is working hard and being determined to get better in every game and every training session. There-s a reason I played on the weekend - it-s because I worked hard in training and I proved to Ange that I want to be here and hopefully I-ll get more opportunities.
6. How many goals have you set yourself as a target for this season?
It-d be nice to get a few goals, I think five would be nice but I think once the first goal goes in, many more will come. I just have to work hard and focus on other things because when you focus on scoring too much, other parts of your game start falling apart and I don-t want that. I just want to keep focused on the main parts of my game and to keep positive, so when a goal comes, I can enjoy it.
7. With all the buzz about your potential, what keeps you grounded and focused?
Definitely, definitely my friends and my family and everyone around this club. We-re all friends, we-re all mates and we-re all willing to help each other out. That-s the difference with this team and that-s what I really love about this team. Everyone is willing to put in 110 per cent and pick each other up and be there for each other no matter what, in any situation.
8. Do you see yourself as a creator or a finisher?
I definitely see myself as a creator because I can create a lot of options and I think a lot of defenders fear the pace I bring onto the pitch. I think I have a fair way to go in the finishing but I do see myself as a little bit of a finisher, but more a creator.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
My goal is to hopefully be playing in Europe, in one of the big football leagues, and for the Socceroos and hopefully even have a World Cup under my belt! I-ll be 25 then. My favourite team is Chelsea and if one day I do end up in a Chelsea strip, I think I-d probably cry.
10. Do you prefer the crowd screaming "KOFI!" or "DANNING!”?
I think everyone knows me by my first name so I would prefer the crowd saying Kofi but either way, as long as they-re cheering, it will always put a smile on my face!