It’s an excellent time to be a local football enthusiast and especially an Asante Kotoko fan. It's been hard for us to ignore the coach, Management and Board rift that gave rise to some tension in the club, but like it or not, how the Management has gone about the preseason preparation, with crucial player signings, making decent sales of some of the best performers like Imoro Ibrahim, and camping the team in Accra ahead of the Turkey trip, excite many supporters.
These may be regular developments expected of modern-day football clubs. Still, strictly within our context, the happenings at Kotoko speak of a focused setup. The news that Management’s meeting with the Board last week was positive should thrill every fan. Without trust and a peaceful leadership environment, progress can’t take place. Leadership must therefore handle conflicts well when they arise.
When the Africa draw was published, with Kotoko paired with Burkina Faso’s RC Kadiogo, I said it's good for two reasons. Burkina Faso is on Ghana’s northern border, which means in terms of travel time and cost, Kotoko wouldn't be drained. Africa inter-club competition is capital intensive. Deep, strategic planning is required to ensure we achieve desired goals despite our weak financial, technical and even logistical position.
It’s why the Board and Management must’ve a united front, not alone to emit the right energy for supporters but also to generate the necessary ideas for financial sustenance, which’s the most critical ingredient in club football administration. Whoever is Kotoko’s coach this season is a point of interest the same way as the players being recruited.
My good brother and broadcast journalist Godfred Akoto Boafo, has had his say on some Kotoko matters, which I share: “Whoever gets to coach Kotoko this season could have one heck of a team if he knows what he is doing” he tweeted days back. That’s a testimony of the team being assembled and the fact that it could be one to beat.
It’s instructive to note also that Kotoko recruitment is patently changing. It’s so noticeable that we can’t gloss over that. Again, I share Godfred’s view. “I like what Asante Kotoko's scouting department has been doing the past year. They have moved beyond the noise and taking note of some outstanding talent that the media normally doesn't give prominence to. Not all will pan out, but that’s the game,” he wrote.
That's true. We won’t have a perfect situation. The absence of a substantive coach presently is quite a knotty matter, for example. That gap would be sealed regardless, and if the Turkey expectations plus the developments with recruitment are anything reliable, there are good reasons to believe another exciting season awaits Kotoko fans.