WITH a bare chest and clenched fist, Isaac Opeele Boateng was lifted high by supporters of King Faisal after passing his first test with the club last Wednesday night, and perhaps signalling that he had finally arrived as a coach.
The bespectacled coach had guarded the side he joined less than three weeks ago to beat his former club, Asante Kotoko, 2-1 in an opening MTN GHALCA Top 4 tournament and he had every reason to celebrate in style.
At a point in time when he was the substantive coach of Kotoko, he was vilified for perceived non-performance, forcing him to reverse to his earlier position as assistant coach.
But Opeele finally called it quits from Kotoko to join Faisal, whose president and bankroller, Alhaji Karim Gruzah, promised to give him all the support to enable him deliver.
It is early days yet but, if the performance of Faisal against Kotoko last Wednesday is anything to go by, then Opeele could be on his way to a successful stint with his new club.
Faisal’s dominance of the game must have reminded coach Hebert Addo that all may not be well with his side despite the massive injection of fresh blood into the team.
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Kotoko has invested heavily in recruitment, and against the background of the existing quality materials, expectations are very high this season.
It may be that the off-season had taken a toll on the team, and at certain stages of the match it became clear that the Kotoko team was nothing but a bunch of wayward men.
As the tournament goes into the second round of matches on Sunday, Kotoko who confront age-old rivals, Hearts of Oak, at the Baba Yara Stadium could face the wrath of their fans if they fail to perform.
Hearts of Oak are in all sorts of troubles, having lost by the same margin to Heart of Lions in the opening match, and the battle of the losers must enliven Kumasi on Sunday.