Strength, power, and great leadership qualities are engrained in the DNA of a formidable Ghanaian Lady central defender. Once in a season, though, Ghana Women Premier League produces one star that boast the calming qualities of a ball-playing defender that is more commonly seen on the continent. Alot of names have passed through the Women Premier League. And, even at this early stage, it’s clear to see Martha Appiah is another. For that reason alone, nobody should be surprised by the excitement that follows her every move.
For a body stature as hers, Martha oozes confidence and composure. That self-assurance was epitomized by her calming of the crowd after pulling off a Cruyff turn in her own box against Thunder Queens FC and Ridge City Football Club, and the berry lady shows no indication of sacrificing those ball-playing abilities. In many ways, her play is reminiscent of Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Berry Ladies’ cultured approach to the game could be a huge asset for club and country.
Since breaking into Coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo’s Black Queen’s first team plans just over three years ago, the youngster’s pass success ratio as hovered around the 90% mark. Perhaps more notably, Martha Appiah is particularly eager to get involved. At Berry Ladies FC, Martha, followed by Elizabeth Ayebea and Comfort Yeboah are the only players to boast a higher average of completed passes this season. Despite her tender age, the Black Queens defender certainly isn’t one to shirk away from the play.
Like many great women defenders before her, Martha is susceptible to the odd mistake. She will get caught in possession from time to time, but it’s important to remember that she is still a young lad. Forget the Black Queens caps and Ghana Women Premier League appearances; Berry Ladies’ rising star is still learning the game. With age and maturity, there’s nothing to stop her from finding that right balance of knowing when to play ball and, more importantly, when to play safe.
The vulnerability of playing the centre-back role means that the risks are high, and those errors will often be punished. When employed in an effective manner by a capable footballer, which Martha Appiah most certainly is, the rewards are huge. If a defender can take opponents out of the game before starting an attacking move, then her team will naturally enjoy more of the game.
Coach Freeman and the newly elected Black Queens Coach Nora Häuptle is always keen to facilitate ball-playing defenders and may see the Berry Ladies FC sweet berry as the perfect player to fill that role for the next decade. Regardless of where her next destination may be, there is no doubt that her attributes on the ball can help her become a Female Ghanaian player great.
As far as Black Queens defenders are concerned, those cultured attributes enlist Martha Appiah as the diamond amongst the rough of no-nonsense defensive shields. But before cementing her place as the gem in Nora Häuptle’s crown, Martha must first learn to become a rock.
The ball-playing talents that Martha Appiah boasts are a gift that could be the key to be the difference between being a great defender and a world-class one. Nevertheless, the primary role of any central defender is to stop the opposing attackers. If the young Berry is to fulfil her potential, she needs to become impregnable at the heart of defense.
Martha Appiah shouldn’t be singled out as the main source of Berry Ladies FC’s defensive problems throughout the Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo’s reign. On the other hand, she’s far from blameless and cannot shirk those responsibilities. The exciting talent has been culpable for several goals this 2022/2023 season.
Martha Appiah isn’t just a ball-playing defender. Contrary to the positional errors and occasional rash challenge, her defensive attributes still stand alongside the Ghana Women’s Premier League’s best. The Berry Ladies FC defender can tackle and is pretty solid in the air. Those attributes will only evolve alongside her physical growth. With the right tutoring at Berry Ladies FC, she has every chance of ironing out the kinks to become a fearsome defender.
If Martha Appiah can complement those raw ingredients by developing the hunger for clean sheets that the likes of Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo and Patience Sackey possessed, then there’s nothing to stop her joining those players on the pedestal of 21st century.