A is for Asamoah
After playing semi-professional football for Hampton & Richmond Borough and Slough Town at the turn of the millennium, Derek Asamoah impressed during an open trial at Sixfields at the end of the 2000/01 season and earned a pre-season trial with the Cobblers.
The quick-footed attacker returned in the July and did enough to secure an initial one-year deal, making his professional debut as a substitute on the opening day of the season against Bristol City. His first Cobblers’ goal followed three weeks later against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Utilised as a winger or second striker, often from the bench, he went on to make nearly 130 appearances over the next three years and added another 12 goals to his tally, before rejecting the offer of a new deal and opting to sign for Mansfield Town – who at the time were managed by current Town boss Keith Curle.
Curle would go on to offer him a contract with Carlisle United 10 years later, but not before Asamoah had clocked up stints with eight other teams, spending time in France, Scotland, Bulgaria and South Korea, as well as England.
He won the first of four caps for Ghana in October 2006 when he made his international debut against Japan in a friendly, and notched his only goal for the Black Stars against Gabon five years later.
Often revered as a cult hero and capable of the spectacular, Asamoah had fans on the edge of their seats wherever he played. He called time on his playing career in 2018.
Hear Derek Asamoah explain what signing his first professional contract with the Cobblers meant to him: