Monday, August 11, 2008

HAYFORD RETURNS TO KOTOKO BENCH (NSEMPA, BACK PAGE)

By Kwame Asare Boadu

AFTER being absent for weeks from his post coach Bashir Hayford returned last Monday to take over as head of the technical bench of Kumasi Asante Kotoko to prepare the team for the crucial away game against Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel, in the CAF Confederation Cup group game.
Coach Hayford, who lost his wife, was given permission by the management of the club to prepare for the funeral of his deceased wife. Management recalled the coach after the funeral was held in Accra last weekend.
In his absence, assistant coach, Johnson Smith, took charge of the technical direction and did well to qualify the team to the money zone of the competition.
The return of the coach is expected, to bring more life into the team, as they gear up for a showdown with the Tunisian giants this weekend. Kotoko need to win this match, or at worst earn a draw to give them a good start for the competition.
They have recruited some fresh legs to augment the squad for the task ahead. Ofosu Appiah and Hanan Giwa have been recruited from Kpando Heart of Lions and Real Tamale United respectively.
Besides, Kojo Poku and Mark Sekyere who have been with the team for some time now, but missed the earlier registration for Africa, have now been registered.
The inclusion of the four players would surely add more power to Kotoko’s game. The team’s pedigree in Africa, must be brought to bear on the competition which also have some crack teams in contention.
Management has not relented in its efforts to do everything possible to motivate the players to give their best, and the CEO of the club, Sylvester Asare Owusu, who says he has a mission to fulfil in Kotoko, believes this year holds something good for the club.
Having already swept every cup before them in the season, Kotoko will give meaning to their status in African football by winning the Confederation Cup.

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