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JOSHUA KARBO || PLANNERS UTILITY MIDFIELDER SPEAKS ON IMPACT OF COVID-19 AND SAYS HE CAN NOW ONLY TALK TO HIS TEAMMATES VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

Accra South is quiet with a bold and brilliant sky as the sun dipped below the horizon, the fleeting colors of dusk began to fade away Joshua Karbo shimmers confidently as he wrapped up his personal morning workout in his home compound.

The Planners Athletic Club utility midfielder, who turns 18 later this month, has been working out on his own away from the rest of his teammates and technical team due to the partial lockdown in Ghana’s capital due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. “I do the normal indoors workout as any athlete would do under the circumstances, my compound is spacious enough for me to jog around, I go through the push ups routine, I also do burpee and squatting.”

Karbo, a former Ghana U20 invitee, was instrumental in Planners last competitive goal before the lockdown. The workaholic midfielder who is also efficient as a wing-back bombed himself forward after receiving a pass from his captain Amon Kotey. With riveting vigor and tightly stretched muscle Karbo hit the ball half-way through the Phar Rangers goal. The sheer furor in his aggression generated a spin around the ball. Collins Ntiful, a defender of Rangers, attempted to head the ball away but his move bizarrely ended the ball in the Rangers net. The game was the highlight of Planners’ season resurrection after going 5 games unbeaten under coach Emmanuel Bulley. Karbo looks back and feels the outbreak has halted Planners in their tracks. “I think the team had hit the gear and we were moving on the right track when and we were just amassing points and claiming up the league log before the pandemic. Everyone feels bizarre about the situation but we can only hope things get better. The basic aim of Planners is to play quality football and also entertain everyone who comes to watch us play.

Leagues across the globe have been halted with players left in mandatory quarantine, isolation and self-isolation. This means footballers cannot do what they do everyday. The young enterprising Karbo says he misses playing football and mingling with his teammates. “Personally as a player I have missed what I like doing most which is playing football in front of our fans. Moreover despite my personal training at home (indoors training) I have missed the quality time at training grounds and time with my colleagues.”

Meanwhile the availability of social media means people everywhere can keep touch with each. Karbo reveals he has taken advantage of social media to stay in touch with his friends and teammates who are miles away. “We are always in touch. At least we have to do our best to remain in touch with each other with every opportunity available. This is our little way of beating the pandemic.”

Joseph Ato Junior’s arrival means new coach Emmanuel Bulley had to tinker with his starting 11 and this has affected Karbo starting berth. However the excellently minded young man has maintained his composure playing in makeshift roles and making substitute appearances. Karbo speaks high of Bulley and describes him as a man of vision. “The atmosphere has been peaceful since his arrival and he is affable and loved by the lads. He is a great man of vision in the game and is able to communicate well with the lads.”

Clubs in Germany have resumed training while some Spanish clubs are also preparing to resume training this week. Karbo hopes the situation in Ghana can get under control soon enough for him to get back to training and play football again along with the rest of his teammates. “We can only hope you know. I hope we win the fight against the pandemic so we can get back to playing real soon.”

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