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Coach Ablordey and Emmanuel Gyamfi.


Early days but title race is tough


Jerome Otchere

Posted on: Tue Apr 18, 2017

With the league on break, I had some time off to be at some family events during the past weekend. It was nice meeting relatives I have not seen in months and some in years not because of anything but the seemingly busy schedule almost all of us have these days. 

It was on my return from one of the events on Sunday evening that news reached me that, academy lads, WAFA, had beaten defending champions, Wa All Stars 4-1 in their outstanding 2016/17 Premier League, match day three fixture at the Wa Park. I was surprised. If I’m not mistaken, that’s the biggest defeat Wa All Stars have suffered at home since they gained Premiership status. 

The immediate thought that came to mind as I drove back home was the notion that, WAFA have been poor away performers and that their massive victory on Sunday, would, to some extent, erase any misconception we have had on their performance away. It was easy to feel that WAFA would be motivated by this result to improve on their matches outside Sogakope. 

WAFA have a resolute, youthful, talented team. Any side that plays them would admit that, they aren’t easy to beat. They have good strength and energy to run. That they could push as many as four goals behind the defending league champions, who, in recent years have proven to be formidable at home, for me, points to the fact that, the league title race this season would be tougher than some of us imagined initially. 

At this stage, you underrate any team at your own peril. A glance at the league table shows a very interesting scenario. Teams are tied on points and battling hard to either strengthen their position or maintain their current standing. That confirms the competitive nature of the league. We couldn’t have had a better competitive spirit than what we are seeing at the moment. 

Apart from Bolga All Stars who have four points in eight matches; Olympics, Medeama and Ashgold have seven points apiece. You move a little up from the foot of the log and there you have Liberty Professionals and Tema Youth also having 10 points each. 

In the mid-section of the log are Ebusua Dwarfs and Berekum Chelsea, both having 11 points.  Just beneath the top four brackets are debutants Elmina Sharks, Wa All Stars and Hearts – all with 12 points. Within the top four range itself are Aduana Stars and Kotoko – 17 points with Bechem United and WAFA having 14 points respectively. 

It has been intense eight rounds of matches since February 11, 2017 with the 16 participating teams guarding their pride and reputation so well and working hard to improve every week. The clubs have taken on themselves fearlessly in pursuit of the ultimate, which is the title. 

The feeling at Kotoko can’t be any different. The ambition is only one – that’s to be crowned champions at the end of it all! It hasn’t be a rosy ride for the Porcupine Warriors. We wouldn’t have an easy march to the top which Aduana Stars have occupied since the start of the league. 

We’ve laboured to win matches particularly at home but that’s no sign of weakness if you ask me. It is a confirmation that, our competitors are good and we, at Kotoko, have to do more to overcome them. The date with Elmina Sharks comes as a typical example when talking about the difficulties Kotoko have faced in trying to maintain a good form at home and win. 

Added to the hardships we have faced at home this season is our inability to score as many goals as supporters of the club would have loved to see. We however seem to have been defending well, which is a plus and I expect more of that fine defensive work as we prepare the match day nine encounter with Inter Allies this weekend. 

This is a league competition, not knockout tournament, where a team has no chance of recovery when it loses. We have to be more patient and supportive of the team. We need not give on the fabulous lads at the least disappointment.

 

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