After Indonesian Impression
Where next for the trio?
Nagbe James Koko Lomell Zah Rahan Krangar
virtuoso performance of the legendary George Weah in Europe especially
in 1995 where he conquered world football by becoming FIFA footballer
of the year, few Liberian players have tried to step in his big shoes
of success left behind with the likes of James Debbah, Joe Nagbe,
Chris Wreh, Kelvin Sebwe, Prince Daye and a host of other players from
the former Green Coast.
period, the country could brag of its stars plying their trades in the
most attractive and glamorous of leagues in Europe, as the players
were more competitive at the top flight.
If Ghana was to
put forth Abedi Pele Ayew, Liberia could put forth the accomplished
George Weah, and could even call the name James Salinsa Debbah when a
country like Nigeria chose to name Efan Ekoku.
Serie A, French Championat mainly harbored Liberian players in the
past with clubs like AC Milan, AS Monaco, Paris Saint Germain and even
Arsenal or Reading of the English Premiership and lower Division
respectively enjoying the brilliant flashes of these players.
however it is a seemingly different and virtually sad story as the
countries current generation of stars in the lower of leagues, a
complete contrast of the days of the past where the ex-generation of
stars made in roads in the bigger leagues of Europe.
not too attractive but a bit respected of leagues in Sweden, Denmark,
Romania Cyprus and the United States are the biggest stages for the
today’s stars. But while some might frown on the players’ inability to
compete at the highest level in European football, they might even
become more irritated as a huge chunk of them ply their trade in the
modest Indonesian league.
indicate that more than 70 players from Liberia are either unattached
or attached with various clubs in the First and Premier and Division.
‘Goal King’ Weah raised the curtain in playing there in 1994 with
Barito Putra Galatama, many Liberians have showed case their talents
in the world largest Muslim state. The season there is now over with
Liberian players once more showing their finesse in wooing fans there
as well as making their respective clubs proud.
But, a certain
threesome in Zah Rahan Krangar, James Koko Lomell and Murphy Komonple
Nagbe shined the brightest in that part of the world. The trio
impressed at their clubs, thus making clubs to become more desperate
in luring Liberian players into their fold.
description and success story of the trio is as follows:
forward who is also effective as a midfielder became the Second
Liberian after former Invincible Eleven (IE) attacking ace Sam Chebli
to win gold or lead a club in winning the championship in Indonesia.
celebrated with Persikota in 2001, the four capped Liberian
international did same with club Sriwijaya for the 2007 Utama Division
as the premiership there is known. This was the club’s first major
title since it was founded in 2004.
Zah Rahan Krangar (Yellow shirt) FC Sriwijaya -
gifted 22 year old proved a handful to opposing defenders as his
flair, pace, incisive passing and vital finishing made life uneasy for
teams especially in the eight teams playoffs. Zah, however, got one
better than his senior compatriot Chebli as he led his team to the
double, the biggest ever in the club’s history.
His hunger to
doom his country’s jersey was rewarded when he netted a goal on his
debut in the Lone Star 1-2 loss to
in the 2008 Nations Cup qualifiers. He then had a hand in two of the
three goals scored by the Lone Star in their 3-2 win against Rwanda at
the ATS in continuation of the same qualifiers.
impressive pair of performance against Cameroun proved while the
prodigy is one for the future. After springing to the lime light when
he formed an integral part of the National U-13, U-14 and U-15 that
made inroads in the Scandinavian Cup in 1997,’98 and ’99, the then kid
dynamite became too hot to handle.
Zah Rahan Krangar (Yellow shirt) FC Sriwijaya -
The youth team
regarded as the country’s best youth team ever was under the tutelage
of co-coaches Henry Brown and Kaytu Smith and had in its fold other
kid turned stars Dulee Johnson, Dioh Williams, George Boe, Sekou
Manubah, Natus Ponny and Sehten Hills.
With his game
being greatly developed the always placid chap led his team Ducor
Defenders qualify to the Second Division in 1999 and after a couple of
seasons there, he fell to the spending spree of then Second Division
club Karn United.
His quest of
playing at a more competitive level took him to Cameroon, as he
surprisingly joined ranks with Racing De Bafosan in 2003. There, he
became the core of a spectacular Liberian threesome with Joseph Pailey
and Aloysius Koko Pennie being the other two.
At the club Zah
won the hearts of many compelling the team’s Coach at the time Jules
Federic Nyonga to say these words to the Cameroonian tribune: ”I see
Zah as a player who could go all the way in his career”.
He has a great
future ahead of him, and if only he keeps his feet on the ground he
would do wonders”
And, after four
years it seemed the Coach words were beginning to come to reality as
Zah formed part of the Lone Star team that lost 3-1 to
at the Amadou Ahidjo Stadium in March 2007.
it was coach Nyonga that was at the helm of the Indomitable Lions, and
the Coach beamed with smile when his former player Zah came on as a
second half substitute. The Sriwijaya menace also had a stint in
Switzerland with lowly Juventus as well as in Ghana with Second
Division outfit Bujumbura FC.
wonders at Sriwujaya, Zah also performed similar acts with Persekabpas
where he led them to premiership qualification.
It is his
dream to play in the passionate and exciting English league, but his
cry had always being the lack of an agent to make him realize his
Like Zah, James
Lomell comes from a relatively obscure background and took the global
leather as path to breakthrough. He would shed tears when ever his
child hood club Children Stars were beaten, and the player who many
called “Liberia Koko”, had always believe in his potential and became
a joy to watch.
club’s name was changed to Haja FC Lomell led the club to the Third
Division and after two seasons, he enabled the club end as runners up
behind Zah Krangar’s Ducor Defenders on the road to the Second
Division in 1999.
James Koko Lomell (R) PSMS Medan - Indonesia
form made him to be a big fish in the pond of Haja FC and had to move
on to the defunct Jr. Professionals, a club owned by the legendary
George Weah. After a season coupled with the dissolution of the club,
Koko was spotted by a promoter who took him to South Africa.
He landed at
first Division side Maritzburg FC where he ended as top scorer in
2003, prompting South Africa ’96 Nations Cup winning Coach Clive
Barker to describe him as a genius.
season, things turned haywire as the player’s career began to
experience a dip after his club’s apparent refusal to let him being
transferred to then Premier club manning rangers.
The saga caused
the player misfortunes as he had to return home to re launch his
career with LPRC-Oilers where he helped them win the premiership crown
in 2005. Then there was a return to South Africa for the current 22
years old as he was said to have joined Mvela Golden league side FC
And, after few
months he surfaced in
Indonesia on grounds of
appalling condition in the land of the 2010 World Cup. His name then
spread in Indonesia like a wide fire in the hamantan after leading his
club PSMS Medan wins the governors Cup.
Such form would
follow in the league as he ended as his side top scorer and one of the
leading scorers in the 2007 season with a tally of 20 goals, and
ending as runners-up and third placers in the league and cup
respectively. This feat is regarded as one of the greatest in the
club’s 63 years history.
cum striker who creates a screen in front the opponents defense due to
his fabulous conjuring skills, crafty acts and clinical finishing has
won 14 caps for country since making his debut I 2003 against Guinea’s
Syli Nationale at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana during the
qualifiers of the 2004 Nations Cup.
would ever achieve his child hood dream of playing for nine times
European champs Real Madrid is something that remains to be seen.
Regarded as the
acrobatic defender in the Indonesian press, the ten caps Liberian
international, Murphy Nagbe was the defensive linchpin of the green
and white outfit of PSMS Medan. He came to the fore when he styled for
fourth Division side Genesis in Gardnersville before moving to Third
Division outfit Barcelona.
Murphy Komonple Nagbe (L) PSMS Medan - Indonesia
With the club he
tasted success after they qualified to the Second Division in 1998 and
the First Division a year later. The burly center back then moved to
St. Anthony in the First Division before switching to LISCR FC.
in the defensive third made him to win his international debut against
Guinea in Conakry in the 2004 Nations Cup qualifiers. The Lone Star
lost 3-0 with the starlet being misplaced after being used at an
un-preferable wing back position.
But, a heroic
performance in the corresponding fixture coupled with strides against
Niger and back to back against Cameroun certainly makes him a tower of
strength in central defense for the once formidable Lone Star.
the net trice during the just ended liga D’jarum, the 23 years old
ruthless center back is no doubt amongst the best players the country
can currently boast of.
Murphy also had
a stint in South Africa with Durban star in the First Division before
moving to Indonesia where he helped Persekabpas qualify to the
had always being to feature for Italian giants AC Milan, but with the
great publicity of the English game, his loyalty or love has since
swayed to Arsenal with its Ivorian defense icon Habib Kolo Toure being
a player whose game he cherish.
With the strides
made by the trio, the question now is where next would they move to
continue their game?
involves plenty of thoughts and one must first get a hint as to
whether they have the means, contact or opportunity in moving to a
higher level or the term complacency would get hold of them to remain
It is generally
believe that it is advisable for a player to move to another level
after conquering one region or league or soon complacency would take
hold which could cause a dip in form.
have the chance or opportunity to move elsewhere, one thing that
remains quite picturesque is that the trio is in fantastic form and is
capable of replicating such forms in other reputable leagues, and must
do everything within their reach either by getting in touch with
agents, compatriots with the aid of their clips which could to some
extent make them get the ultimate by competing in one fancy area like
Eastern Europe or any other.
The onus is
indeed on them to go for the bigger one which could serve as a spur
for other great talents in that region like John Tarkpoh Sonkailey,
Boakai Foday, Stephen Mennoh, Henry Zobon Gobah, Perry Saah Kollie and
others to follow in yearn to be more competitive.