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Sports News of Monday, 11 November 2019

Source: Footballmadeinghana,com

Adu-Gyamfi writes: Accra Hearts of Oak – Ghana’s oldest football club turns 108 years today

Formed on the 11th of November 1911; Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club is 108 years today.

Hearts of Oak as commonly known by soccer fans was formed in Ghana’s capital specifically under the big Oak tree at Akoto Lante, a suburb of Accra.

After it’s formation, however, Hearts of Oak won their first major soccer match in 1922 when Sir Gordon Guggisberg, governor of the Gold Coast, founded the Accra Football League. Hearts won 6 out of 12 seasons in this league.

In 1956, Hearts joined the Ghanaian football league and has flourished ever since.

However, it was not until the year 2000 that Hearts of Oak were recognized as a major powerhouse on the African continent.

Hearts won the treble that year as they took the Ghana FA cup, the Ghana Premier League title and for the first time in their history the CAF Champions League.

It was in that very year that the Phobians inflicted a memorable 4-0 defeat on their sworn rivals Asante Kotoko on their way to winning the league with several matches to spare. This was the most successful year in the Clubs’ history.

In 2004, the Phobians again won the then newly introduced CAF Confederation Cup.

This particular trophy is significant to a lot of Hearts fans, because they played in the final with their fiercest rivals Asante Kotoko in Kumasi.

In 2011, Hearts of Oak became the first club in Ghana to float their shares to the public. However, the club fell short of the targeted GH¢10million from the floatation of shares, after making 20million shares available for sale from August 1st, 2011.

Following this decision, Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State became the board chairman of the club by acquiring a major part of the floated shares.

In spite of the numerous achievements of the club, things have not been great in recent times.

The performance of the team has been below par, with several experienced players leaving their fold.

The project at Pobiman which has been on the drawing board for several years still has not seen any significant improvement.

In the recent GFA elections, the club’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Frederick Moore, who was seeking to win a seat on the Executive Council was dealt a humiliating blow, as he failed to win.

This is the evidence of how low the club has sunk, not to have a representative on the council that make decisions in Ghana football.

Even more shocking was the back and forth about the endorsement of GFA Presidential Candidate Amanda Clinton. It clearly depicted a board that was confused as they were sharply divided over the endorsement of the only female aspirant.

For a club that is over a century deserves more than what Hearts of Oak currently has. Infrastructure and player welfare are key areas that must be improved. It is no wonder fans hardly attend games to watch their darling club perform. To this end, the board, management, technical and the playing staff must all deliberately come together to chart a new course for this great club.

With a motto as instructive as “Never say die until the bones are rotten”, it is evidently clear that the Phobians do not easily give up.

There is the need for a united front so Hearts can relive the good old times.

The memories from the past have been great, but the future certainly looks brighter.

Long Live the Oak Tree!
Long the Phobian Family!!
Long Live Hearts of Oak!!!

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