Centre back, Awudu Nafiu ready for action.

Hopeful Super Clash debutants speak

Posted on: Sat Mar 18, 2017 - Report by Bernard Nyankomago Yeboah

When Kotoko take to the field on Sunday against Hearts in Accra, Coach Zdravko Logarusic will be having a taste of the Super Clash for the first time. The Croatian tactician has led Kotoko to five wins and two draws in seven league matches so far. 

This weekend, he will lead the team to the ‘Mother of all Matches’ in Ghana as the 2016/17 Premier League enters match day eight. It will be Zdravko’s first Super Clash since taking over Kotoko in January – just like Hearts’ coach, rank Elliot Nutal – a Scottish. 

One of the advantages the 52-year-old Zdravko has over the 48-year-old Nutal is that, he has had the chance of playing against Hearts previously with two different teams. In the 2009/10 and 2010/11 season, when Zdravko coached King Faisal and Ashgold, he fared well in his dates with Hearts. The Croat is hoping to keep his fine record. 

But the coach aside, some Kotoko players will be debuting in the Super Clash. These are mostly the newly recruited players like Awudu Nafiu, Seth Opare, Kwame Boahene, Abass Mohammed, Baba Mahama and Yakubu Mohammed. Awudu Nafiu, for example has been strong in central defence while Yakubu Mohammed has been a livewire of a sort. 

Yakubu has scored four goals in the league. He’s determined to do more. New recruits, Prince Acquah and Isaac Quansah were in the off-season, G-6 semi-final against Hearts in November 2016 which Kotoko lost on penalties in Kumasi but the stage could be significantly different for them if they are fielded because more – pride, reputation and three points are at stake. 

The would-be Super Clash debutants must be physically and psychologically prepared. Awudu Nafiu shared his feelings with on the big game. “I’m under no pressure because this isn’t my first encounter with Hearts. I played against them with my previous teams before joining Kotoko. I’ve learnt a lot from Hearts matches and I will bring those lessons to bear to help secure victory” said the former Ashgold player. 

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