FEATURE: Stepping into the big shoes of their fathers, meet talented Jacob Kingston and Rodney Appiah

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Rodney Appiah (left) and Jacob Kingston are both keen on impressing on the local scene
Rodney Appiah (left) and Jacob Kingston are both keen on impressing on the local scene

All over the world, sons of e  retired football greats have decided to walk in the shoes of their fathers. The fact that they can have their legendary fathers behind them is a plus to their young careers.

In many instances, the names they bear provide them with an advantage to make it even though not all of them are able to attain a quarter of their fathers’ achievements in the end.

Sons of famous footballers such as Ivorian Didier Drogba, Patrick Kluivert, Lillian Thuram, Zinedine Zidane, Liberia’s George Weah, Paolo Maldini, Peter Schmeichel and Ghana’s Abedi Ayew Pele, among others, have seen their sons choose football as their careers.

In Ghana, the legendary Abedi Pele’s two sons, Andre and Jordan Ayew, have been successful in their quest to follow in their father’s footsteps despite failing to come close to his achievements during his heydays.

Andre currently captains the senior national team, Black Stars, whilst his younger brother remains an integral member of the team.

At club level, Jordan competes in the English Premier League with Crystal Palace, with Andre plying his trade at Swansea City in the English Championship.

Aside from them, former skipper of the Black Stars, Stephen Appiah, and playmate Laryea Kingston have had their sons coming up as footballers.

Rodney Appiah and Jacob Kingston, sons of Black Stars midfield greats Stephen Appiah and LaryeaKingston, have been training with Great Olympics as the Accra side look to acquire their signatures in the upcoming transfer window this month.

The duo have almost the same aim in choosing football and that is to imitate the blissful careers of their fathers in the future. It is certainly going to be difficult but Jacob and Rodney are ready for the task ahead.

While Jacob is keeping to a family tradition as the third generation Kingston to play for Olympics, following a path taken by his grandfather Adjei Kingston who was a goalkeeper for the Wonder Club in the late 1970s and early 1980s, his uncle Richard Kingson who was goalkeeper for the club in the mid-1990s and now the goalkeepers' coach for the Dade lads, as well as his father Laryea who featured for the club in the 1990s.

Ironically, Rodney did not take after his father's roots. While Stephen Appiah cut his teeth at Hearts of Oak in the mid-1990s before a sterling career in Europe, his son is commencing is set to join city rivals, Olympics.

Jacob Kingston
Age: 23
Position: Forward

Jacob’s passion had always been football right from his infancy. That was what drove him to choose the sport as his preferred career.

Born in Ghana and bred in Scotland, he returned home with his father to focus on kicking off his career on the local scene.

That will mean signing for a Ghanaian club, and Great Olympics have expressed interest in him. What is left is to put pen to paper in the coming weeks.

“Football has been my passion right from infancy and I won’t say my father forced me into it,” Jacob told the Graphic Sports. “My father allowed me to make my own choice and he has been helping me all this while.”

At age 23, Jacob knows he doesn’t have time to waste knowing the pressure that accompanies his surname. He understands what he needs to do to be able to maintain the name, especially when he is about to play for his father’s boyhood club.

For him, creating a household name for himself would be a difficult task to achieve and that was what mattered most. Only time will tell what the future holds for him.

“As I stand here, I haven't achieved any name for myself and all people know is that I am the son of Laryea Kingston and that really puts a lot of pressure on me to deliver,” he told the Graphic Sports.

Jacob rose to fame in 2014 when he featured for St Thomas Aquinas Senior High School in the Inter-School and College competition.

His performances in the competition drew so much attention to him and he said that served as an eye-opener, especially when all it was about was to showcase one’s talent.

Playing for a local premier league side will be a different ball game and Jacob understands the intensity in playing for a side like Olympics.

“My father played for Olympics and achieved so much, so I know what will be required of me when I commence playing for them,” said Jacob.

Jacob wants to play for the Black Stars in the future by wearing his father’s iconic number 7 jersey when the time comes.

He believes that will motivate him to greater heights, which is to play for his dream club Real Madrid in the future.

“I always dream of playing for the Black Stars and most importantly wearing the number 7 jersey. It is something I want to achieve and I am working towards that.

“Real Madrid is a club I adore and I hope to get the chance to feature for them in the future, but I know it is not going to be an easy task,” Jacob noted.

Rodney Appiah
Age: 19
Position: Midfielder

Rodney Appiah wants to build his own career without the pressure of having to imitate his legendary father Stephen Appiah.

Born in Udine, Italy, the youngster said he had to relocate to Ghana to start his career on the local front, a move that was necessitated by his father.

That move has really toughened the midfielder and he wants to repay his father with the faith placed in him by delivering on the field.

“I was born in Italy but my father advised that I relocate to Ghana to start my career from here,” Rodney disclosed to the Graphic Sports.

“It’s been an interesting journey for me so far and I want to give my father my all for the faith and confidence he has placed in me,” he added.

The stakes are high for Rodney considering the numerous achievements of his father on the field, but the 19-year old prefers being himself.

He is focused on becoming a better football player by creating his whole niche on the field rather than allowing his father’s status to lead him.

That can start when he signs for Olympics who have expressed interest in wanting to tie him to a professional contract.

“I want to achieve something great for myself and not solely focus on my father’s name. I want to achieve something greater than what he did.

At his age, Rodney is relishing an opportunity to play for the national U-20 team, Black Satellites, to kick-off his international future.

Having begun his youth career at Juventus, Rodney wishes to play for the Italian giants at some point in his career, as well as represent the Black Stars.

“My biggest achievement will be to play for Juventus at some stage in my career, having started playing football there, as well as represent the Black Stars,” he noted.