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Centre back, Abeiku Ainooson.


Looking beyond three points


Jerome Otchere

Posted on: Tue Apr 18, 2017

Kotoko is more than a club that should just be training and playing seven days a week. Kotoko, by any standard you want to measure it, is a big club. If it is about the ownership – that’s who owns club, there’s absolutely no question about the respect that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II commands. That respect touches Kotoko a bit. 

If it is about the support base, we can’t discount the fact that, Kotoko have the highest number of fans in Ghana. We are reputed to be one of the clubs in the world with the most passionate following. If it is about achievements, Kotoko stand tall in Ghana and in Africa even though there’s no denial that, we haven’t won any major club title on the continent in over 30 years. 

The past achievements of Kotoko have been quite significant. Whether we like it or not, it is that which has propelled us to where we are at the moment, such that, even if we haven’t won anything important in Africa since our last triumph in 1983, the name Kotoko is still revered. 

It’s unfortunate that, we have been unable to relive the times of past. We have struggled to be one of the dominant, powerhouses of African club football as we used to be. The feeling that, one day, we will be back to the big stage is always there. The question as to whether we have the capacity to be bounce back and that, we are doing the right things is another matter. 

Nevertheless, the greatness of Kotoko can’t be wiped away with our usual disappointing rants especially over how the team hasn’t been able to win anything substantial in Africa in recent times. The impression is often created that, there’s nothing good at the club and that, a lot of the things we do at the club are substandard. I disagree. 

While I won’t under applaud mediocrity of any sort, I hold the view that, we have been making fine efforts at positioning ourselves well so as to get the best from those outside the game. It’s one thing being in the media; criticising and condemning things without offering workable alternatives and it’s a totally different thing working with a club in Ghana as a media personnel. 

In such a situation, if you are closed to the heat, your view on the state of affairs or indeed the plight of our clubs will naturally differ from those not close to the heat. All may not be well with Kotoko and other Ghanaian clubs but in the midst of our difficulties, we are making good efforts at raising the standards. As I always argue, it’s the collective work of us and other stakeholders that will enhance the image of our domestic league. Not constant, caustic criticism. 

That’s the more reason, I encourage our Management to look beyond three points. Looking beyond three points entails a lot. It’s essentially about doing the things that necessarily won’t put us up on the league table instantly on every match day. It’s that which will enhance our image as a football club and in the long term, contribute to our development. 

Our development now is key to our survival in future. A lot of us – fans, media and administrators – have narrowed football club development to winning three points and league titles. That’s sad. It’s even more disappointing that, after winning three points and league title, nothing significant happens. We ought to look beyond three points. 

We must improve on the standards – administratively and technically. We must think deep about the future of our clubs and do the right things to build proper foundations for growth. I was glad last Friday as I read the story of how the Kotoko Medical Team over the last decade, has maintained high standards in the treatment of players. 

Good news doesn’t sell well so there was no massive coverage of that. It was even more refreshing to note that, the Dr. Michael Leat-led team has been adhering to the ‘FIFA Eleven for Health’ programme in their medical care of our players. That’s an example of looking beyond three points. We need more of that in other aspect of our development to change the face of the club. This isn’t exhaustive. Surely, God willing, I will be back on this issue again.

 

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