Prince Buaben

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Prince Buaben
Personal information
Full name Prince Christian Buaben Abankwah
Date of birth (1988-04-23) 23 April 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Akosombo, Eastern Region, Ghana
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Central Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Carlisle United
Number 10
Youth career
2002–2004 A.V.V. Zeeburgia
2004–2007 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2011 Dundee United 115 (8)
2011–2013 Watford 31 (1)
2013–2014 Carlisle United 12 (1)
2014 Partick Thistle (loan) 11 (0)
National team
2008–2011 Ghana 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:37, 6 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 November 2011

Prince Buaben (born 23 April 1988) is a Ghanaian professional footballer, who is currently playing for Carlisle United.

He arrived at Dundee United after being forced to leave AFC Ajax due to residency issues and has since been capped for Ghana and earned a Scottish Cup Winners medal when Dundee United lifted the trophy in 2010.


Buaben was born in Akosombo, Ghana, but his mother took his family to the Netherlands when he was nine, as she thought that they would have a better life there. In the Netherlands where he lived for nine years, his big break came when he was playing for local side A.V.V Zeeburgia against Ajax in a friendly, which they lost 9–1, with Buaben notching his side's solitary strike. "After the game, Danny Blind told my uncle that they had been impressed with me, but nothing happened for a while. Eventually, Ajax called me and I went there for a two-week trial when I was 15."[1]

A player who grew up in the famous Ajax Amsterdam youth system mostly as a striker, the 19-year-old did enough to impress Dundee United manager Craig Levein. He did not have the necessary residential status in the Netherlands to obtain the required work visa when a full-time contract was offered to him by the Dutch giants. "In Holland, you cannot play professional football without a resident's permit, and I was not due to get mine until the following year. But, because I did not have a permit, I could not play professionally, and the club had no choice but to let me go," he recalls. He returned to his native Ghana and due to his family's UK status obtained a valid visa, which led to a recommendation to Dundee United manager Craig Levein.[2]

Buaben joined the club as a trialist at the start of pre-season training and has impressed the manager sufficiently to be awarded a full-time contract. On 20 July 2007, Dundee United signed the Ghanaian on a three-year contract, following a successful trial period at Tannadice Park. Levein told the club website: "He's a young player and although talented, will need time to develop and adapt. "I see him as one for the future but have high hopes that he may break into the first team earlier than expected."[3]

Buaben made his Dundee United debut in the friendly 2–2 draw against Raith Rovers at Starks Park[4] on Sunday 22 July 2007. "The Prince" was an instant hit with the fan's, despite being lauded by Levein as "one for the future", Buaben quickly settled into the starting line-up of United after some outstanding performances especially his range of excellent passing, which got rave reviews in match reports[5] The Times Online said "Two of Levein's cheap discoveries, Morgaro Gomis and Prince Buaben, were outstanding for United against Rangers...Both players have brought craft and imagination to the United midfield".[6] Prince was part of the Dundee United team which won the Scottish Cup in their centenary season 2009/2010. In April 2011, Dundee United manager Peter Houston indicated that he expected Buaben to leave the club at the end of the season due to the Terrors being unable to match the players demands.[7]

Buaben joined English Football League Championship side Watford in July 2011, signing a two-year contract.[8] Buaben struggled in pre-season with a lack of fitness, which halted his attempts to break into the first-team. He had to wait until mid October to make his league debut for Watford, coming on for Michael Kightly in the 20th minute against Leicester City. Buaben made his full league debut for Watford against Peterborough United on 29 October 2011. Watford won the game 3–2 with Buaben instrumental in all three goals. Buaben scored his first goal for Watford in a 1–1 draw against Cardiff City on Boxing day.[9]

On 7 June 2013, Watford announced that Buaben's contract would not be renewed and that he was due to be released as a free agent.[10]

He joined Carlisle United in October 2013 in a deal that would keep him at Brunton Park until the end of the 2013/2014 season.[11] He made twelve league appearances for the Cumbrians, before joining Partick Thistle on loan in January 2014, until the end of the season.[12] On 6 May 2014, Carlisle announced that Buaben would be released at the end of his contract.[13]

International career[edit]

Buaben received his first call-up to The Black Stars of Ghana national squad in March 2008 for the friendly match against Mexico,[14] although he remained an unused substitute during the match.[15]

Career statistics[edit]

A young man wearing a yellow shirt, red shorts and red socks, standing on a grass field
Buaben playing for Watford in 2012.
As of 6 May 2014
Club Season League Cup Lg Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dundee United 2007–08 24 3 1 0 5 0 0 0 30 3
2008–09 22 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 25 2
2009–10 34 2 6 0 3 1 0 0 43 3
2010–11 35 2 5 1 2 0 2 0 44 4
Total 115 8 14 2 11 1 2 0 142 11
Watford 2011–12 30 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 32 1
2012–13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 31 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 33 1
Carlisle United 2013–14 12 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 16 1
Partick Thistle (loan) 2013–14 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Career total 169 10 18 2 12 1 3 0 202 13


Dundee United[edit]



  1. ^ "Prince Set To Reign". Voice Online UK. 20 October 2007. 
  2. ^ "United sign Ghanaian Tralist". Dundee United FC. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "New Prince arrives at Tannadice". BBC Sport website. 20 July 2007. 
  4. ^ "Raith Rovers 2 Dundee United 2". Dundee United FC. 22 July 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007. 
  5. ^ "DUNDEE UNITED 1–0 MOTHERWELL". Dundee United FC website. 6 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Spiers, Graham (29 October 2007). "Dundee United 2–1 Rangers". London: Timesonline UK website. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Conway, Buaben and Gomis to leave Dundee United". BBC Sport website. 29 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Smith, Frank (14 July 2011). "Watford sign Prince Buaben". Watford Observer. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Watford 1–1 Cardiff". BBC Sport. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Hall, Andy (6 May 2014). "BREAKING: Retained and released list". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "International call-ups for Buaben, Camara, McLean and Kenneth". Dundee United FC. 19 March 2008. 
  15. ^ Prince Buaben at

External links[edit]