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Sports News of Monday, 5 March 2018


Time for Kotoko to look beyond Ghana - J.E. Sarpong

Veteran coach J.E. Sarpong has implored the management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko to go beyond the frontiers of Ghana to hunt for players to strengthen the team to help them become formidable and competitive at both the local and international levels, as well as make them attractive and restore their former glory.

Dismissing the perception that Kotoko were bundled from their continental campaign two weeks ago, because of the late start of the Ghana Premier League (GPL), Coach Sarpong said Kotoko did not go beyond the preliminary round against CARA of Congo Brazzaville in their CAF Confederation Cup because they presented an ordinary side.

Speaking exclusively with the Graphic Sports, coach Sarpong said the recent performance of the team was not reflective of their former glory, hence the need for management to expand their horizon in recruiting seasoned players, capable of turning the fortunes of the team around.

“There were public perception that the late start of the league had contributed to the abysmal performance of Kotoko, but if it was so, why did Aduana Stars qualify to the next stage of the competition.

“The fact is, Kotoko do not have a stable team now and there is no consistency. Aduana have kept many of their players for over four years, so there is a form of consistency. Their technical team is also stable, unlike Kotoko” He explained.

“Many players are changed regularly in Kotoko, making it difficult for them to play as a team. Besides, Kotoko do not also have the needed structures and a long term planning programme. They want instant results, but not putting things right.

“They can’t have instant results with this kind of planning. They should have started building gradually, and by now, the team would have been in good shape to compete locally and at the international level,” Coach Sarpong stressed.

He thus challenged the management of the Porcupine Warriors to go beyond the borders of Ghana to scout for and recruit players who merit to play for the club, explaining that, Kotoko had over the years, been touted as one of the biggest clubs in Africa and beyond, “but their current performance at both the local league and at the international level, is nothing to be enthused of”.

He also challenged management to establish colts team to nurture and develop the potentials of the youngsters for future assignments.

“TP Mazembe, WAC of Morocco, Zamalek and EL Ahlly among others, have done it, and the results are there for all to see.

“Kotoko are not a try and error team, but an established institution and a religious body. That is why when anything goes wrong, it affects the psyche of their numerous fans,” he complained.