Kumasi Asante Kotoko – Year Under Review

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The Porcupine Warriors because of their past achievements in Africa and the Ghanaian league remain one of the best clubs in the history of Ghana whose name is all over the world. The hopes and aspiration of Kotoko supporters was raised high when their God- fearing bankroller in the person of Dr Kwame Kyei Baffour and his able men did all that they could to get the signatures of all the players supporters of the team were itching and yearning for to be part of  the team’s set up.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko the “ wokum apem a apem beba” boys started the  last season’s league on a good note and showed a high potential of winning the league title  until some fans begun to show their displeasure on the 3, 5, 2 formation of the then Kotoko Coach Dzravko Logurasic. Even though the team was well placed on the league log with same points with Aduana Stars the proud winners of  the just ended  2016/ 2017 Star Times sponsored premier league.

Coach Frimpong Manso was called upon to be a caretaker coach for the Club to help the team score more goals which Kotoko’s fans would have loved to see. His appointment brought some sigh of relief to the supporters because they knew they had a former Kotoko player who knows the philosophy of the team as the man at the helm of affairs. Unfortunately for him his intention to use the 4, 4, 2 or 4, 3, 3 systems which many fans believe could turn things around for the team became disastrous.

It became obvious he had no knowledge about the team’s inability to score more goals and win matches as well. As we all know a physician identifies a patient therapy after careful examination and possible diagnosis. Kumasi Asante Kotoko begun to drop gradually to the bottom of the league and through a timely intervention by the Chief Executive Officer and his able men who had no option than to go in for another expatriate who knew the Ghanaian football terrain in the person of Steve Polack the current coach of the Club to come into the rescue of the team.

As soon as Coach Steve Polack was handed the coaching job in Kotoko he started visiting his players to have a pep talk with them individually to know their problems to be able to build a strong relationship with them and also to identify their problems and how best he can help solve them to enable him turn the misfortunes of the team around to bring back the smiles on the faces of Kumasi Asante Kotoko fraternity.

He then thought it wise football entails a lot and as such it is imperative to help control the diet of his boys who will do the job on the pitch for him. They took his instructions in good faith and things started improving in terms of results as compared to his immediate predecessor’s era. The only additional player signed for him was Sadiq Adams a talented and experienced striker who started his career with Kotoko on a very good note.

The CEO, management team and leaders of the supporter’s front took the initiative to boldly come out to tell the fans of Kotoko the team is on a rebuilding stage even though they had in their fold experience and   players who had performed creditably in the previous season such as Kwame Boahene, Abass Mohammed, Baba Mahama, Awal Mohammed Muah, Nafiau, Yakubu, Ernest Sowah and many others. This wonderful pronouncement from the team leadership to supporters did the magic for the team because it made all the angry supporters came  to realize “Rome was not built in a day” and also know the good thought and where Dr . Kwame  Kyei Baffour and his thinker men want to take the team to.

It was commendable to hear from the horses own mouth that he wants to take the team to a different level of professionalism when it comes building structures and modern facilities that befits a big team  whose life Patron sits on a Golden stool. No wonder work has begun on the Adako –Jachie training grounds to prove to Kotoko fraternity he has come to make the team very attractive to the outside world once again. Supporters after receiving the good news from the CEO had no option than to give the team their maximum support. Suddenly, the team begun to pick up their pieces together because their supporters had come to realize winning the league title is not the team’s ultimate goal in 2016/ 2017 but to have a formidable team in the coming seasons.

The team was involved in a fatal accident on the Nkawkaw  Highway  which took the life of their deputy kit officer leaving the head coach Steve Pollack, Gordon Ablordey and some players sustaining series of injuries. The team became traumatized and yet they were able to gather the courage to fight a good fight to make sure they don’t end the 2017 season without a trophy. Kumasi Asante Kotoko was able to pick up their first victory over their arch-rivals Glorious Accra Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Sports stadium in this year’s UBA President’s Cup by beating them 4-3 on penalties to lift the Cup.

They went ahead to chop the Oak tree in grand style in Tamale Sports stadium to win the MTN FA Cup which automatically qualifies them to represent Ghana in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup . The expectation of the supporters to annex Ghana@ 60 Cup could not materialize as their team drew with their arch- rivals who had won the first encounter on 3-1 aggregate. So far so good for a team that had gone through hell to have in their basket two trophies. Good work done  (Ayikoo mo ne adwuma pa).It has therefore become expedient for the supporters to continue to rally behind Dr. Kwame Kyei Baffour’s management team, players and Coach Steve Pollack’s backroom staff as they prepare for the up-coming season.

Michael Kessey – (Sports Analyst GCR)

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