Osei Kofi ready to replace Awal
Posted on: Thu Aug 02, 2012
Central defender Osei Kofi is ready to step into the shoes of Awal Mohammed who has been transferred to Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Maritzburg United and deliver the goods for Asante Kotoko next season.
Speaking to Kotoko Express the former Yegoala FC player admitted that Awal was key to Kotoko success last season but was confident he could be a good replacement and team up with the rest to hold the fort at the rear,
Awal Mohammed was recently transferred to Maritzburg in South Africa after a successful one and half seasons spell with the Porcupine Warriors. In his first season he offered his best and helped Kotoko to finish third in the 2010/11 Glo Premier League.
Last season too he contributed enormously and helped Kotoko to win the league for the 21st time. Awal made 26 appearances in the competition and was adjudged the Best Defender in a colourful GFA/PLB Awards Night held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi on June 16, 2012.
Since the news came that the former Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord and Asec Mimosas player was going for medicals at Maritzburg, a team coached by former Kotoko Trainer Ernst Middendorp, most Kotoko supporters have been calling and writing letters in Kotoko Express all to express concern about his transfer. Most of them have suggested that Awal’s presence would have been crucial to Kotoko quest to seek their third trophy on the continent next season.
But hard working defender Osei Kofi says anytime a player, irrespective of name or influence would leave, it was important for the fans to encourage the remaining ones so that they can get the vigour to perform.
“This is not the first time that a good player like Awal is leaving Kotoko. Many of them have come and gone but the team is still making progress. Last season for instance top striker Nat Asamoah left at a crucial stage but Kotoko continued to fight hard and won the ultimate.
“This clearly confirms that Kotoko can always replenish the stock so the supporters should exercise restraint over Awal’s exit. What is important is for them to give those left behind their fullest support and encouragement. Through that Kotoko will surely achieve their targets next season” he noted.
Osei Kofi, a native of Abrafo-Odumasi in the Central Region started his Colts football with Desideros FC at Fadama, a suburb of Accra before joining Yegoala FC and subsequently to Kotoko last season. He did not get enough playing time in the team but the talented defender is hopeful of making it big in the days ahead. He revealed that he was going to double his efforts in order to break into the first team.
“I was not disappointed with my performance last season because it was my first time in the premiership. Now that I have adapted the Kotoko system very well, I believe I can perform better next season”.
He reaffirmed his commitment to work hard and defend the legacy left behind by Kotoko legend and now Reverend Minister Osei Kofi.
It is on record that dribbling wizard Osei Kofi in his heydays helped the Porcupine Warriors to win the national league back to back in 1967, 1968 and 1969 and the African Clubs Championship in 1971 though he missed the cup final against Englebert in Congo because of a strange motor accident.
As part of their off season activities, Asante Kotoko is expected to camp in Adukrom and play some trial matches against Istanbul FC, a formidable Select Side and Okwawu United in Koforidua and Nkawkaw to test their strength ahead of next season. Osei Kofi said he was going to make good use of these friendly matches and demonstrate his preparedness for the task ahead next season to the fans.
On how he sees the chances of Kotoko next season, he replied that the team was definitely going to face a big challenge from their competitors especially Berekum Chelsea looking at their current form. He as a result urged his colleagues to attach much importance to their off season activities so that by the time the league will start, Kotoko will be battle ready for any side.
He also entreated the supporters to have absolute confidence in the current crop of players that they are capable of defending the image of Kotoko in the CAF Champions League.
He finally assured that he and his colleagues were ready to work with Coach Mas-ud Didi Dramani who will replace Maxwell Konadu for next season adding that it was also important for the supporters to rally behind him in all his endeavours.
By: Bernard Nyankomago Yeboah
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