Notts County: New-signing John Cofie wants to go places with the Magpies
FROM Ghana to Germany, Burnley to Manchester United, Royal Antwerp to Sheffield United and now Notts County, John Cofie wants to go places in his career.
The 20-year-old striker is set to make his debut for the Magpies in their League One game against Crewe Alexandra at Meadow Lane today (3pm) – and he has quite a story to tell.
Born in Ghana, he lived in Germany as a kid because his dad was in the army and it was there that he was spotted by Burnley.
He was so desperate to make it as a footballer that he used to travel all the way from Germany to Lancashire to play for the Clarets youth team before moving to England.
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Then Manchester United came calling and he has been at the biggest club on the planet since he was a teenager, being loaned out to their feeder club Royal Antwerp last season and Sheffield United earlier this season.
He is now at Meadow Lane, having signed a one-month loan deal with the Magpies.
It will be extended if he scores the goals to put Notts back into the promotion race – so he has already set his sights on his next destination, Wembley in the play-offs final in May.
With the club's strikers Yoann Arquin, Enoch Showunmi and Francois Zoko all misfiring, the Magpies' caretaker boss Chris Kiwomya is ready to unleash Cofie on Crewe – and he says he is ready to go.
"I want to help the team go places," said Cofie.
"We're five points off the play-offs so hopefully we can get a promotion.
"I'm going to go out there and work my heart out, give everything and hopefully help us win games.
"I'm going to get in and around the box and hopefully a few chances will fall to me and I will be composed enough to finish them off.
"I feel ready. I'm fresh and fully fit and I want to get out and do well."
Cofie already knows Notts midfielder Joss Labadie – and says he jumped at the chance of swapping reserve football at Old Trafford for first-team action at Meadow Lane.
"Manchester United is a great club and it's good to be there," he added.
"Playing reserve football is amazing because it's at the highest level.
"But it's still boy's football and I want to play men's football.
"It's good to be out on loan and play first-team football and I'm looking to enjoy this."
Magpies caretaker boss Chris Kiwomya is confident the youngster will prove a big hit.
Notts have so many creative players in their team, like Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Alan Judge and Jeff Hughes and he believes Cofie will give the side the cutting-edge they have badly lacked since letting star striker Lee Hughes leave last month.
Arquin has not scored for 15 league games, Zoko has scored one in 15 and Showunmi has one all season.
Kiwomya's first game in temporary charge ended in a 2-0 defeat at Stevenage.
"We have some good players in and around the box, but we were a bit short in the final-third against Stevenage and hopefully he (Cofie) can bring us something," he said.
"I didn't think we gave Stevenage's centre-halves enough problems, there was not enough pressure on them, and they should be coming off the pitch knowing they've been in a game.
"It was disappointing because we had so many crosses – I think Jamal put in 18.
"I think it's good to get a new face into the club. He's coming from a prestigious club so he knows football.
"It's good for the rest of the players in the dressing room because they know they have got another option – and it brings a bit of energy to the team.
"As a centre forward myself I know what has been lacking.
"It's those intense runs into the box, explosive runs to get across people, so that's what I'm going to be working on.
"You have got to get the right people who can bring that to your team – and that's what we're trying to do.
"We're trying to get another centre forward in.
"I think if we do that we will have a great chance of getting into the play-offs.
"The players that have been given the chance have taken it sometimes, but not on a frequent basis.
"We're lacking a real predator."