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15.03.2006 Football News

Hearts coach foresees a tough but surmountable task


Accra, Mar 15, GNA - Francis Oti Akenten, head coach of Accra Hearts of Oak says he foresees a tough but surmountable task as they engage St George of Ethiopia in the first leg of the second round of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League game on Sunday, March 19.

"I know it will be a difficult game but I believe my boys can rise up to the occasion so that we can secure a favourable result against the Ethiopians". "We are confident of winning and the worse might be a draw, but this will not be achieved on a silver platter, we have to go the extra mile to achieve it". Coach Oti-Akenten stated.

Speaking to the GNA Sports from the Club's Winneba camp, the soft spoken coach said they are aware of the strength of the Ethiopians, having disposed of ENNPI of Egypt, which makes the task a daunting one. Coach Oti Akenten said the performance exhibited by the Ethiopians in the competition so far is an indication that they are a force to reckon with hence there is no need to underrate them. "We are also aware of some psychological games that our opponents might adopt to overcome us but these will not deter us from executing our task", he added. The coach said such psychological tricks are normal in African soccer, adding that his players are well psyched up for any of such moves. He was of the firm conviction that all his tactical and technical plans will work to perfection so that the team's dreams of making it to the money zone of the competition will become a reality.

Coach Oti Akenten is seeking to take the Club to the league stages of the competition, which has eluded the Club since it won continental glory in 2000. The coach who assumed the position of technical director of Hearts this season, has so far managed to record an impressive output in both friendly and competitive games and is aiming at adding a continental glory to his achievements so far. Hearts left Ghana for Ethiopia on Wednesday afternoon with a contingent of 18 players and seven officials.

Among the players who made the trip are Laud Quartey, Abubakari Sulemana, Amankwah Mireku, Dan Quaye, Kwabena Boafo, Steven Offei, Charles Vardis, Eric Nyarko, Francis Bossman, Stanley Afedzie, Joe Tagoe, Joe Louis, Ekow Ghansah, Moses Andoh and Reuben Senyo, The officials are Oti-Akenten, Atu Hammond, Eddie Ansah, Aliu Adjei and Sabhan Quaye, members of the technical team. Other officials are Tommy Okine, Acting Chief Executive of the Club and Mr Steve Akwetey, member of Board of Directors of the Club.