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12.01.2005 Football News

Wounded Heart of Lions poised for Top Four

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Accra, Jan 12, GNA - Wounded Kpando Heart of Lions might be grieving the heavy sanctions imposed on them by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) for pulling out of their Confederations Cup campaign but are poised to cause a massive upset in the much-awaited Coca Cola Top Four competition scheduled for next Sunday.

The Kpando-based team was handed a three-year ban on Friday from participating in any CAF organised competition by the Confederation. The club has however warned the three other participants in the Top Four competition to be wary of their threat even though they would be in their debut as far as the competition is concerned.

Coach Bashiru Hayford told the GNA Sports that, "we are piped to showcase to all that our exploits in the last season was no fluke and nothing would stop us from achieving that aim".

The team regrouped on Tuesday at their Kpando base to gear up their preparation for the tourney, which would have them playing as host of badly bruised Kumasi Asante Kotoko on the first match day at the Ohene Djan's Sports Stadium in Accra on Sunday, January 23.

Coach Bashiru who is best remembered for being among the last three short-listed of the Black Stars' managers job said, "we are getting better by the day and anyone who dares to underrate us does so at his or her expense".

He told the GNA that Lions have resolved to make up for their inability to play on the continental scene with a good showing at the Top Four to appease their teeming supporters and lovers of good football and prove that the monopoly enjoyed by the two most glorious clubs, Hearts and Kotoko are over.

The Lions would switch camp to Accra next week where they would share the same venue with the Phobians who trek to Kumasi as guest of defending champions, King Faisal in the opener.

Coach Bashiru is hoping to ride on the services of newly recruit, Nigerian born Ralph Oniya in the absence of last season's goal king, Samuel Yeboah to plot the fall of his competitors in the six-week fiesta.

Oniya who stroke four times for league debutants, Tema Real Sportive, according to information pieced together by GNA Sports, last week signed a two-year renewable contract with the Loins and would be expected to deliver the goods upfront.

Also expected to star for the Lions is Benin born goalkeeper Chito Rachad who also signed a two-year renewable contract last week and said to have won the confidence of the supporters who have patronised their training.

Apart from Lions who are making their debut, all the three other clubs, Kotoko, Hearts and Faisal have participated in competition before.

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