Young Ghanaian defender, Emamnuel Hackman, has returned to pre-season training with his Portuguese top flight side, Portimonense, and is eyeing a much improved performance next season both on a personal and team level as well as getting a chance to play at international level.
The former Liberty Professionals star enjoyed an outstanding debut term with Portimonense last season, playing 27 league games (26 starts) as the then newly promoted club finished way above expectations in 10th place to secure their top flight status for next season. And no one is more delighted with that more than the 23 year old right back who can also play in central defence.
“I will rate my performance last season as good. Of course there’s always room for improvement, moving to Portimonense was a good decision for me, it was our first time playing in the Primera Liga so I think as a team we did very well. I also got a lot of playing time that I’m grateful for without playing time you cannot improve as a player,” Hackman said before flying out to Portugal after his post-season holidays in Ghana.
“My expectation next season is to help the team push to a better position than we did last season and I’m very sure my teammates also echo that just as I want to help the club achieve their goals,” Hackman added.
It has not been all smooth for Hackman however since he arrived in Europe in 2014 to join lower division side, Vila Real where he played one season before moving on a free transfer to Boavista to play in Portugal’s top league for the first time, featuring in 12 games in the 2015/16 season.
The turning point however came in an unexpected manner after he spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Deportivo Aves back in the Portuguese second tier league playing 24 matches and topping it up with his first two goals in Europe.
That obviously caught the attention of Portimonense who topped the second tier league that year and gained promotion to the top league. They swooped for the Ghanaian, securing him for an undisclosed fee from Boavista for the 2017/18 season when Hackman of course later shone par excellence in their history making campaign.
The youngster however have bigger dreams and still harbours his childhood dream of not only playing for a top club in a top European league, but also earn a call-up from Ghanaian football chiefs into the national team even as he couldn’t hide the disappointment of the Black Stars missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup still ongoing in Russia.
“I was very upset we didn’t make it through to the World Cup, last few tournaments we represented the nation well so it would have been good to see Ghana made it through again. But next World Cup for sure we will be there and God willing I am part of that team,” he said.
“Playing for the national team is a must, for me to represent my country will be one of the proudest moments for sure, but I understand that I’m building foundations with my performances to reach that level in career and I’m hoping the coaches notice soon,” he explained.
Hackman added: “I’m a very ambitious person and I’ve always had big dreams so my dream is to one day also play in the big leagues. But right now I’m at Portimonense and very happy there and wants to tell the fans thank you for supporting the team and myself last season, you guys are our anchors. Every time we play we play for you, next season is another important year, get behind us and keep supporting and I will not let you down.”
…with Gottlieb Baako (firstname.lastname@example.org)