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27.10.2008 Football News

Bekoe Is The Best

By Andrew Nortey -

STRIKER Eric Bekoe and Coach Bashir Hayford last Friday night led an Asante Kotoko onslaught on the third GFA/PLB Awards Night, sweeping every award in the categories in which they were nominated.

With 17 goals, Bekoe was handed the goal king award and crowned it with the Overall Best Player of the season amidst wild celebrations from friends and relatives.

And in his humble self, Bekoe, after receiving his trophy, certificate, cash of undisclosed amount and a brand new VW car from the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, thanked his colleagues and appealed to Ghanaians to make the December 7 election a peaceful one.

It was a moment sympathisers of Kotoko who gathered at the function had anticipated and the funfare that greeted the announcement of Bekoe as the Best Player of the Season ahead of Dominic Adiyah of Heart of Lions and Harrison Afful, also of Kotoko, was to be expected.

Hayford's award as the Best Coach also came as little surprise after winning major competitions in the season with the Porcupine Warriors including the league which has eluded them for about three seasons.

Described by some of the guests the Times Sports spoke to after the ceremony as “Kotoko Awards Night”, the Porcupine Warriors set the ball rolling with their supporters, the Circles being adjudged the Best Cheer Group of the Season.

Then came Soulama Abdulai and Harrison Afful who were adjudged the Best Goalkeeper and Defender respectively.

Sylvester Asare crowned the night for the Porcupine Warriors with the Chief Executive Officer of the Season Award to make it seven in addition to a cash prize of GH¢10,000 for winning the league.

Second and third position clubs, Heart of Lions and Berekum Arsenals also received cash prizes of GH¢6,000 and GH¢4,000 respectively.

Accra Hearts of Oak's Kofi Abanga was adjudged the Discovery of the Year with King Faisal awarded the Fair Play Trophy.

Referee William Agbovi stood tall in the field of officiating while Haruna Ayuba emerged the Best Assistant Referee of the Season.

For their hardwork and excellence, the FA bestowed the award of Honourary President on Justice A.K.B. Ampiah, a former chairman of congress and a Meritorious Award on Justice Anim Yeboah, the chairman of the FA Appeals Committee while Alex Asante and Emmanuel Gyimah received Best Worker of the FA award in junior and senior staff categories respectively.

A special award was also given to the Vice President of Ghana for his contribution towards the development of football in the Northern Region and Ghana as a whole.

League sponsors, Onetouch, was also presented with the Gold Award, Gateway Broadcasting Services (GBS) was presented with the Silver Award with the Bronze Award going to beverage giant, Coca Cola.

For the first time in the history of the awards, every participating club was presented with a plague, certificates of participation and a CD containing all matches played in the competition.

It proved a night to celebrate football indeed as it brought together retired footballers who have been absent from the scene after hanging their boots.

Among those spotted were Reverend Osei Kofi, Anthony Yeboah, Anthony Baffoe, Arthur Moses, Ohene Kenedy, Yaw Acheampong, Emmanuel Armah (Senagal) current deputy Black Stars trainer, Kwesi Appiah, Maxwell Konadu and others.

In his welcome address, PLB chairman, Welbeck Abra-Appiah, described the season as a landmark one and attributed the success to the introduction of certain innovative ideas.

He said the PLB is strengthened by the recommendations made to the FA and the positive response it has received.