Five years after hanging his boots as one of the most dreaded strikers of his generation, former Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko great, Charles Asampong Taylor, is looking up to extend his prowess on the field of play into the difficult world of coaching with the view of nurturing and developing the next generation of Ghanaian stars.
At the peak of his career Taylor was an exciting and feared striker who was a member of the Hearts team which won the 2001 Champions League and 2001 African Super Cup titles, as well as three Ghana Premier League titles before making a controversial switch to rival Kotoko for a then-record transfer fee.
Now, the supremely gifted Taylor believes he has so much to give to football by developing the youth to attain similar heights in the game as he did during his illustrious career in Ghana.
Even though he has already started training young players, the 38-year-old is planning to undertake formal coaching course to equip him with the skills and certification necessary for his new career path.
“I started training young players with Platinum FC in 2017 when a friend who established the team handed it over to me. I have, therefore, been training them since then, but I am eager to attend a coaching course in Ghana as soon as the ban on football activities is lifted,” Taylor told the Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview in Accra.
He believes that attending a coaching course will help him build a formidable career as well as meet the minimum requirements of the football governing body to be recognised as a coach in Ghana.
“We have been training regularly at the Atomic junction in Accra, and as a former footballer who made it big in Ghana, I am desirous to impart some of my experience to the youth in football.
Taylor, who was Ghana’s footballer of the Year in 2001 and 2002, had a relatively modest career with the Black Stars, making 16 appearances and scoring just two goals for the senior national team. However, he told the Graphic Sports that he wanted his proteges to attain even greater heights than he managed to achieve.
“I want them to be better players than me because that is what a coach is supposed to do. Training as a coach will offer me the opportunity to unearth, nurture and develop the potentials of the youth for them to be more proficient on the field of play,” he explained.
Already, Taylor is relishing a successful career on the technical bench and claims one of his charges is already training with Jiangsu Suning, the Chinese club of Ghana international, Mubarak Wakaso, and expresses the hope that the unnamed young player will make it big in football.
According to Taylor, before football competitions were suspended two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, he regularly trained as many as 60 young boys at Platinum FC, a division two side.
When questioned why he took to coaching even though he was an ordained minister of the gospel at the Glorious Wave International Church at Sakumono, the retired footballer turned to the Bible to support his decision.
“The Bible says an idle hand should not be fed, and since God always blesses our handiworks, it is not wise to be in the church and devote all your time in prayers and expect money to fall from heaven to provide for your needs.
“It is for this reason that I have started coaching a second division side to earn a living. That also explains why I want to attend a coaching course to gain more experience in the job for the benefit of the youth.”
Taylor’s playing career took off at Accra Great Olympics in 1999 before he joined city rivals, Hearts, in 2000. After a successful stint with the Phobians during which he formed a dreaded triumvirate with Ishmael Addo and Emmanuel Kuffour to conquer all they could survey in Africa, he shocked the football community by joining Kotoko in a controversial move in 2003.
At the twilight of his career, Taylor made a less glorious comeback to Hearts in the 2008/09 season, having earlier played for Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel, and later sojourned in Nigeria to feature for Enugu Rangers.