Saddick Adams interact with Coach Polack during a break in the game.

Building player confidence

Bernard Nyankomago Yeboah

Posted on: Wed Jun 21, 2017

The feeling around Kotoko not long ago was unpleasant. The sudden decline in form in the first round of the league left much to be desired. As a matter of fact, it created tension and anxiety. I can’t forget the numerous phone calls I used to receive daily from some supporters who were extremely worried over Kotoko’s situation. 

At certain times, I had to switch off my phone almost the whole day to avoid bitter complaints. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3, there’s time for everything. Now that caustic feeling making way for positivity. Things are gradually getting better. There’s more and more work to be done. 

I applaud Executive Chairman, Dr. Kwame Kyei for his positive moves on the fabulous course. The circumstance Kotoko found itself in could’ve discouraged him but he isn’t losing hope. Before the second round started, I and Jerome visited Dr. Kyei for an important discussion. 

We had played eight league matches without a win. The team’s consistent, unimpressive show in both home and away matches was affecting the sales of Kotoko Express. We were bothered but Dr. Kyei encouraged us to be strong and hope for the best. He told us he doesn’t lose hope in life as a believer of God. That’s faith and faith does a lot in life if you have a firm one. 

If you’ve faith, it surely enables you to see the glory of God. Dr. Kyei’s faith has started working. I pray Kotoko fans develop similar faith and see the positive impact that will bring to the club. Kotoko have not fared badly in the second round of the league. Picking four points from a possible six isn’t an ugly record. There’s room for improvement. 

It was our wish that, Kotoko would’ve beaten Great Olympics on Sunday in Kumasi. The game however ended 1-1. It’s painful but a draw is better than defeat. Let’s continue to remain patient and optimistic. The most important thing now is that, the team has been showing improvement in their performance. 

Coach Steven Polack is on a good course. I strongly believe that, Polack will transform the team. He needs time and our support. It was clear in the middle of the first round that, the players’ fitness and confidence level were low. They could fare well in the first half only to struggle in the second half. This made them concede more goals in the second department of matches. 

Now, I see improvement. The players can play 90 minutes without signs of fatigue. Against Proud United in the FA Cup, Kotoko returned from recess to burn more energy to win the game. A similar thing transpired at Tema on match day 16. After a goalless first half, we came back in full strength to silence Tema Youth. 

On Sunday too, we played with a lot of energy. Even when we were reduced to 10 men after Ernest Sowah’s red card, we preserved. This shows how well Coach Polack has been working on the physique and psyche of the players. It’s a sign of progress. Once the players are fit, physically and mentally, they can live up to expectation. 

The players’ confidence has increased significantly. In the early days of Coach Zdravko, he reposed loads of confidence into the playing body. When the players were on the field, you could see self-confidence everywhere. That was the spirit that led us to win crucial matches particularly the match day four fixture against Ashgold at Obuasi. 

In that match, after the first game was rained off, the players stayed confident. The next day, they beat Ashgold but after match day ten, the team’s confidence sunk. Emmanuel Gyamfi who was the engine of the team and masterminding most of the wins wasn’t pressing hard again. 

Now, I can see Coach Polack has been psyching him up. Gyamfi’s confidence is coming back. I’ve followed him well in the last couple of matches. I’ve seen a rise in his form. Baba Mahama is also growing in confidence. He was written off by some fans but with time, he has started showing purpose. It’s big credit to the players themselves and Steven Polack. Confidence is key in team building. 

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