German-born Ghanaian striker Collin Quaner has spoken exclusively to Joy Sports in a wide-ranging interview.
The 26-year-old who made 26 appearances for Huddersfield Town in just ended Premier League season talked about his dream of representing the Black Stars in future and targets for the upcoming campaign.
Question: Welcome and thank you for your time. You’ve been home for some time?
Collin Quaner: Yeah exactly. I have been here for a few days.
Question: What have you been up to?
Collin Quaner: Nothing special. I have been here before and I am here to see the [Black Stars] head coach Kwesi Appiah and also to see some training sessions. I am happy to be here again because it’s been a long time since I have been here and I enjoy being here.
Question: Tell me about the past season and how it went.
Collin Quaner: Yeah. Everyone who followed me personally and my club Huddersfield, we had a big achievement this season because everyone expected us to go down straight to the championship. But at the end, we had our goal and we stick together and we were able to achieve our goal.
Question: Let’s talk about Ghana. Ghana was unable to qualify for Russia. When you sit back, what runs through your mind knowing other African countries are going to play at the FIFA World Cup and Ghana is not going to be there? We’ve been there the three previous times.
Collin Quaner: Yeah. Like you said, if I think about the history of Ghana and when I was young and following the Black Stars, they’ve always been part of the big tournament and the World Cup. Always playing well at the World Cup and had a great team so it’s unfortunate not to qualify this term. I have said it before that we just have to try to accept it and try to work and do something different to come back stronger.
Question: Tell me some of the interactions you’ve had with some of the players of the Black Stars aside from the coach. Do you have any acquaintances?
Collin Quaner: No. I have never really met any of the Black Stars players. I met the coach Kwesi Appiah when he came to the UK and also I had the chance to meet Christian Atsu for the first time. Apart from that, I didn’t really have any chance to meet anyone.
Question: What did Kwesi Appiah tell you about his primary observations about you, your qualities, talent and all of that?
Collin Quaner: Yes. Of course in the conversation, he talked about how I see myself and normally I am a striker. I like to play upfront or in front of the goal. This is where the coach sees a lot the potential they have to work on. I just told him if I can be part of the future perhaps I will be more satisfied and grateful to do so.
Question: If you say the future, I am sure you are picturing yourself wearing the Black Stars jersey on certain platforms. Which ones will they be?
Collin Quaner: Yes. I want to represent at the next big tournament coming up which is the Africa Cup of Nations and also the next World Cup even though it will be far away.
Question: To this point, which would you say has been your brightest moment playing on the pitch especially in England?
Collin Quaner: I think last season when we were promoted from the championship. We won the final at Wembley, however, this will definitely be one of the biggest moments in my career personally and the highest point. I don’t know but like I told you, everyone expected us as the smallest team maybe in the history of the Premier League to go down straight away, so to achieve staying in the Premier League with the club I would say you can compare it with the promotion at the Wembley.
Question: Well interesting stuff there. Surely staying there in the Premier League was a tough campaign last season. You are going to have a long holiday and well-deserved break but coming back into the new season. What would be the mindset in terms of your targets?
Collin Quaner: For me personally, it’s the first time for me as you said. I will be having a longer break for some few weeks and also I’m happy to come here. The summer is just to focus to stay fit and get even stronger. For us as a team, I’m sure next season the league will be harder to stay up again and so we have to make sure we are prepared.
Question: This is one thing that confronts every player at a certain point or the other. We are approaching a thick period of movements. Is there a possibility of you moving away from Huddersfield and to seek another challenge?
Collin Quaner: Yes of course. In football especially in sports, you never know what comes next. Today you are here, tomorrow you could be somewhere else. That is what I learned in my career and the little experience I had. That is why I am the type of person that takes the day as it is and don’t try to think too far. Currently, I am very focused on Huddersfield and next season and this is my task. I don’t know what the future will bring. For me and every player, you seek the next steps but for me, I seek the next step to make sure we stay in the league again.