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28.10.2008 Football News

Reviving Ghana's sleeping giant

					Reviving Ghana's sleeping giant

Mensah was in charge of Kotoko Ghanaian businessman Herbert Mensah says he is dreaming of bringing back the good times to the long-suffering supporters of Ghanaian side AshantiGold. 

He recently completed the takeover of the 1997 African Champions League finalists for an undisclosed amount.


Mensah, who supervised the revival of giants Asante Kotoko between 1999 and 2003, wants to re-establish the Obuasi-based club as a continental force.


"There is a very good opportunity for us to return the club to the top of African football, as it was in 1997," Mensah told BBC Sport.


"The supporters who have been yearning for honours for the club will be delighted because our aim is to win titles in Ghana and Africa.


"The situation at Kotoko is different from what we have now which makes it possible for us to do more here as we have total control of the club.


"AshantiGold Academy has produced some of the best players for Ghana and we are now in a good position to restore that important side of the team," he said.


Former Ghana captain CK Akonnor and striker Augustine Ahinful were part of the golden generation that went on to play for the Black Stars.


The club, which began as Obuasi Goldfields, was taken over by mining firm AngloGold Ashanti in 1992.


But the firm decided to give up its control of the club when AshantiGold started struggling in the years after reaching the final of the continental competition.


Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam acquired 51 per cent of AshantiGold shares in 1999 but relinquished it five years later because of bad administration.


The club managed to put an end to the Hearts-Kotoko duopoly within a year and won the Ghanaian league title three times in a row from 1993 to 1996.


AshGold's biggest success came in 1997 when they reached the final of the continent's biggest club competition.


They went on to lose 5-4 on penalties to Morocco's Raja Casablanca, but earned recognition from across Africa along the way.


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