Kotoko, Ashgold vie for SWAG glory
When the two top clubs in the Ashanti Region - Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Obuasi AshantiGold battle for the SWAG/H.P. Nyemetei Cup at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday, it will certainly be an opportunity for both clubs to show their superiority over each other in the annual prestigious event.
Kotoko are ten-time winners of the prestigious cup while AshGold have won three times, all at the expense of Kotoko.
Kotoko were champions in 1988, 1989,1990,1991,1992,1993,1998,2001,2003 and 2006, while the miners have had their wins in 1994, 1995 and 1996.
But despite Kotoko's dominance in the SWAG event, Sunday's duel looks a formidable contest between the two regional rivals.
Kotoko have already served notice that Sunday's game which also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana will be an opportunity to prove to all and sundry that they are always the hot favourites when it comes to the annual SWAG cup event.
Incidentally, AshGold won all their contests at their home grounds, the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi where their teeming fans always did the cheering. But at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kotoko will have the bigger voice and it will be interesting how that affects the game.
AshGold boss Kudjoe Fianoo insists his boys will carry the day, despite Kotoko's massive home support. "Kotoko are shy when it comes to such contests. We're going to beat them in Kumasi like the way we upstaged them in the first round Onetouch game", he told the Statesman.
Kotoko's Sylvester Owusu Asare has also called the bluff of the AshGold CEO. He assures that Kotoko's current performance is overwhelming. "We're going all out this year to win all trophies, particularly this SWAG Cup, because we have the best team and technical staff this season".
Some of the top stars who will be on parade for AshGold include Fatau Dauda, Alex Asamoah, Sumaila Nyanya and Wakasu Mubarak as against Kotoko's sharp shooter Eric Bekoe, veteran Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Harrison Afful and Richard Manu.
Meanwhile, the main sponsors of the SWAG Cup, the State Insurance Company (SIC), have donated GHc 10,000 for the annual event, organised in honour of Mr H.P Nyemetei, former SIC MD and Patron of SWAG.