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05.08.2005 Football News

Kotoko Will Win The League — Afranie


NEWLY-Appointed coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, E.K. Afranie, has stated that even though the GT premier League is becoming a tough battle, he is confident of guiding Kotoko to win it to underline his accolade as “Coachhene” of Ghana.

“I will not disappoint the huge Kotoko family”, Mr Afranie told the Graphic in an interview a day after he had taken over as coach of the two-time African champions.

He however stated that the team had to dig deep into their armoury to produce that magic that had seen them chalk up many resounding victories in the past.

One of the most accomplished Ghanaian coaches, Mr Afranie, who had been in and out of Kotoko on three occasions, said: “We have to fight very hard”.

He said he had identified the main problem affecting the performance of the club to be the over-expectation of the supporters, which most often makes the players become hysterical on the pitch.

He said he would psyche the players up to face the challenges ahead to ensure that Kotoko occupied its proper place in the national league.

Mr Afranie said one major task to tackle was to work on the strikers to ensure that the goals flowed.

The coach also noted that the defence occasionally leaked under pressure and promised to rectify the situation. He cited last Sunday's match against Liberty in which the defence was in tatters and said Kotoko needed not play like that.

Mr Afranie was confident that the closure of the Baba Yara Stadium would not affect Kotoko's performance in the league.

He recalled that in 1976 the Kumasi Stadium was closed for construction works, at a time he was handling the club which resulted in Kotoko playing elsewhere, yet they managed to place second in the league.

Mr Afranie urged the supporters to remain solidly behind the club as it battled through the fierce fight from other clubs in the league.

He also appealed to the supporters to support the management and board of the club in their quest to bring back Kotoko's lost glory.

The last club Mr Afranie coached was B/A United but he had to resign before his contract could end following a rift with supporters and management.