David Abagna, RTU’s Game-Changer, Deserves a Louder Applause
The Ghana Premier League (GPL) has been graced by a plethora of stars who have lit up the competition over the years, many of whom have walked away with a fine haul of silverware and had their names etched in gold.
Others, though, may not have amassed so much to fill personal cabinets, yet their individual ability still sets them apart. They might not even hog the headlines after a good matchday, despite proving invaluable for their side, but these ones deserve to be celebrated regardless.
Put down David Sandan Abagna of Real Tamale United (RTU) as one of those underappreciated names.
There has never been any doubt about the midfielder’s talent and ability since he announced himself on the domestic scene as a member of 2016’s title-winning Wa All Stars side, with only his consistency drawing a question mark or two.
This season, following a move to top-flight returnees RTU, Abagna has set about answering those questions in style. Leaving behind a forgetful spell with Obuasi’s Ashanti Gold, Abagna has certainly revived his career and then some in Tamale.
The midfielder, who is also enrolled at the city’s University of Development Studies (UDS), has swiftly distinguished himself as RTU’s thinker and deliverer during his short time at the club.
A guiding presence on the training ground, Abagna’s game awareness often has him at least one step ahead of the rest of his teammates. He’s the man RTU now turn to when the chips are down — an inspirational, talismanic presence revered by his teammates.
His move to RTU certainly felt like a step down, at the time, a final confirmation of his failure at Ashgold. But Abagna has taken his chance, stepped up his game, and changed the narrative with some superlative performances (including two man-of-the-match shifts).
At Ashgold, the platform was unarguably higher, and Abagna plunged to the deepest depths of self-doubt and self-pity. He sighs anytime he recalls how tumultuous last season was for him with the four-time champions, a memory of disappointment that can’t be easily forgotten.
Now, though, Abagna rules the roost with his technical brilliance and majestic playmaking artistry. He has banished the melancholy of yesteryear, replacing it with an enthusiasm he exudes each time on the pitch; an enthusiasm that, clearly, has infected Shaibu Tanko’s entire squad.
“Abagna is an idol in the club,” Tanko, unrestrained in his adulation, said of his star man this week.
Abagna scored RTU’s first five goals of the season and, after letting others into the goal-scoring limelight, has taken charge again. He has been directly responsible for his team’s last two strikes, the latest being a well-taken equaliser on Wednesday away to Asante Kotoko.
Impressively, Abagna has racked up those numbers — throw in his one assist — while playing a key creative role behind the main striker, propelling RTU into the top half of the table after just eight games and into a position higher than any of the other two newly-promoted sides currently occupy.
Rather than scoff at Abagna, as some might have done when he made his move in the last window, could we just give it up for him now?