When news breaks of a Hereford signing, I always check the full official press release. More so for what it doesn’t say rather than what is included. I’m not being critical of the author as the content looks professional and that is what they are paid to churn out. I am often amused by the instant comments of “great player”, “brilliant signing” “just what we need etc” which are instinctive responses based on a slanted perspective. Maybe a little reflection might mean a more considered approach.
We’re in mid-September now and any free agent must come with a question mark. Why are you not already with a club? Sometimes the answer is easy – Paul Downing and very new boy Lyden are over acquainted with physios. With our new attacker, the answer is less clear and may be a combination of factors. To summarise, Ceesay may have reached the dreaded 30 mark (though some sources claim he’s 28), he averages two clubs per season (12 moves since 2017) and he is “unpredictable.” That’s a word open to wide interpretations.
“You never really know what you’re going to get from him” The then Telford manager Gavin Cowan.
“He’s a bit unpredictable. Raw and up and coming”. Then Boston manager Craig Elliott
His assets to us are his pace and his size (6 foot 2). He’s left footed but can play anywhere across the front line or in left midfield. He averages about one goal every ten games. He’s also Step 2 battle-hardened, an obvious plus for our squad. He is in no position to demand a high salary.
Yusifu has certainly had his good times. He was part of Alvechurch’s attack when they were promoted from Step Four, a popular but bit part player with Altrincham when they won promotion through the Step Two play-offs. More recently as we knew to our cost, he was flying with Alfreton the season before last.
For reasons unknown, last season was far from a great one for the winger. He’d got a one year contract with Kidderminster over the summer with full time football. That was “very important” to him. “Your focus is all on football” he assured Harriers media. Arguably it wasn’t because after 19 games and 3 goals for the Harriers, the striker returned to Derbyshire hoofball. Although he featured quite regularly for the Sky-High Reds including their play-off game v Kidderminster, he scored only one goal. He was very peripheral and basically anonymous against the Bulls. Last summer, he was deemed one of six squad members who would have further talks with manager Billy Heath. Talks which proved fruitless as Ceesay hasn’t played at all this season.
No sources really delve deeply into this well-travelled footballer. He was born in Barcelona with one Spanish parent and one from Ghana. Gambians have a history of migrating to Catalonia: in 2012 it was estimated that 22,000 Gambians lived there.
Obayed Hussain ran a Birmingham football team called the Saltley Stallions. He was introduced to some young Spanish footballers whose families had relocated from Catalonia and in turn their coach Aly Fofanah. A welder by trade, Fofanah was better known as a coach in Catalonia.
“Yusifu was in my team from a young age in Spain,” Fofanah said to the Times. “After two years in England, I went on holiday to Spain and we met again. I asked his dad if Yusifu could come to the UK where he would have a better chance to play football. I found him a place to stay on Dudley Road. I took care of his rent and food.”
Later Yusifu became one of a high number of quality foreign-born players signed up for Smethwick Rangers FC. They’d all been overlooked for whatever reason. The now step 6 side trained on Smethwick Park and rented pitches for matches.
Sporting Khalsa picked him up for a season. Then Alvechurch for one season where he was spotted by Blackpool and Port Vale. The Seasiders signed him on a two year deal plus one year option. They loaned him out immediately. And then again,. And again. Off to Boston, Nuneaton, Telford, Altrincham. A dizzying roundabout. After just one year, Blackpool cut their losses. From there, he joined Altrincham permanently and commuted from his Birmingham home. “The travelling is hard but this is where I really want to be” he assured their website. He was initially a popular figure at Alty, making 56 appearances and finding the net 6 times. From there, he was taken on by Alfreton for that impressive first season.
As ever, the biggest pointer will be what can he do for Hereford FC. We must wish him well – especially as his first appearance could be in the FA Cup today.