Friday, 1 April 2011

PATRICK DOEPLAH:1990-2011, GONE TO THE GREAT BEYOND - How the Promising Career Of a Lone Star Striker Came To a Tragic end

Danesius Marteh,

The national team delegations leave Monrovia today for Accra, Ghana and Praia, Cape Verde respectively but with the news that striker Patrick Doeplah
will no longer wear the red, white and blue jersey of Liberia.doe

Has he retired? No. Has he been banned from international football? No. Has he been knocked-out by a life threatening injury? No. But what really happened?

Well the cold hands of death have ended the career of a promising young footballer.

Roman governor Julius Caesar, in the Shakespearean drama title Julius Caesar, told his wife Calpurnia that “Death is a necessary end and it will come when it will come.” 

Caesar was trying to calm the fear of his wife (who had a terrible dream about the death of her husband) and had revealed the dream that he was going to die in cold blood if he leaves their home. 

Did Doeplah know that death awaited him in Monrovia? Unlike Caesar, nobody revealed to him that he was going to die upon his arrival in Monrovia.

He had left his comfortable home in Kfar Saba, Israel to answer the call to national duty when his ‘necessary end’ came at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center early Tuesday morning. 

According to Musa Bility, president of the Liberia Football Association, Doeplah was pronounced dead on arrival by doctors.

The 20-year-old midfielder arrived in Monrovia on Monday evening in preparation for Saturday's London 2012 Olympic Games qualifier against Ivory Coast in Accra.

Doeplah, who played for Hapoel Kfar Saba in the Israeli second division, was found lifeless in his room at the family residence and was taken to the JFK after police cordoned the area.

The atmosphere at the family residence was noticeable. Family members and friends wept openly that their hero and bread winner will never be seen again.

"I have spoken to the players of Kfar Saba [and] they are in heavy shock. He was in camp with the Liberia team and asked permission to meet his girlfriend and spend time with the family," said his club chairman Harel Reichman.
"He returned to the hotel and just did not get up in the morning. When Doeplah did not come down for training and failed to answer any calls, concerned officials broke down his hotel room door only to find him dead.

"We want to involve the senior people in government so that we can get it properly confirmed because doctors are saying he suffered from cardiac arrest," said Doeplah's agent Dawn Greenberg.

"He was like my child, I'm shocked, it's unreal. He called and sent me an
SMS yesterday [Monday] to say he was fine but I am in a total mess now.

"He has a two-year-old child and he is the source of income for his family because everyone knows how hard it is in Africa."

Doeplah scored his ninth goal in 23 games when Hapoel lost 1-2 to Hapoel Rishon Lezion at home in the league on February 25 and played the entire 90 minutes when Hapoel beat Maccabi Herzliya 1-0 on March 18 to move his club to the top of the table with 59 points from 27 games.

Born on October 27, 1990, Doeplah spent his youth career with Gardnersville FC (then known as Haja FC) and Roots FC, before playing senior football with Mighty Barrolle and LISCR FC. de

At the latter club, he was the subject of interest from Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko.

He instead signed on loan for Israeli club Hapoel Kfar Saba for the 2009–2010 season before the deal was later made permanent.

International career

Doeplah made his international debut in the 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in a 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville on September 5, 2010.

He replaced Amadiaya Rennie in another 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier at the March 26 Stadium in Bamako on October 9, 2010 but was miserable in midfield as Liberia lost 1-2.

He was a bad selection ahead of James Koko Lomell given his performance against Zimbabwe and didn’t help the team badly in need of an equalizer.

But he made amends by becoming one of the stand-out performers when
Liberia beat Sierra Leone in the return leg of an under-23 qualifier for the London 2012 Olympic Games on December 19, 2010 at the SKD on December 19, 2010.

Doeplah scored the decisive kick as junior Lone Star won 3-1 on penalties and 5-3 on aggregate to set-up a second round clash with the junior Elephants of Ivory Coast, who lost to Nigeria 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Fact file
Name        Patrick Doeplah
Date of Birth    October 27, 1990
Place of Birth    Monrovia
Height    1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position    Striker 
Year    Club Career    Caps & Goals
    Gardnersville FC   
    Roots FC   
2007    Mighty Barrolle   
2008 - 2009    LISCR FC   
2009 - 2010    Hapoel Kfar Saba    32                 8     
2010 - 2011    Hapoel Kfar Saba    23                 9

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