Sunday, 14 August 2022 11:22

A stoic by nature, Nana Yaw Amponsah, giving the "lifeless" Asante Kotoko, a living Featured

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A decade or two ago, the state of Asante Kotoko SC was in dolour without any unforeseeable plan to path a chart to the glory days of yesteryears which had taken and placed the club into the right acme of Africa Football. From managerial lapses to leadership paralysis to technical ineptitude amongst others, left the club to ridicule and a thing of mockery.

Asante Kotoko was a household name since the infancy of football in Africa through the medieval times to the early millennium that epitomized a club established with a purpose to dominate and conquer at every nook and cranny at whatever stage the club finds itself. An evidence impregnated with so much successes in the 60's, 70's and the 80's that birthed the mantra the club prides itself with presently as the "Africa Club of the Century", according to the IFFHS.

Just before the last two decades, Asante Kotoko had last played in the final of the CAF Winners Cup against Wydad Athletic Club from Morocco in 2002 after going several years quiescent in the local scene of nine year drought without annexing the local diadem to sword rivals Hearts of Oak and Goldfields FC. After rallying back to winning it in 2003 under Coach Abdul Razak Karim "Golden Boy", was full of chicanery to be the right tonic needed to spin quickly in becoming that dominant force in Africa football, judging from a successful two successive seasons; 2001/02 and 202/03 seasons.
As enlisted above, Asante Kotoko SC left itself to mortal wounds, especially in Africa football, due to several factors but remotely to managerial, administrative and technical issues which were poorly handled by the ranks and files of the club. As known in common football parlance that, the successful run of a club, majorly depends on a solid backing of an intrepid management and administrative structures to birth subsequent successes on the field.
It can be adduced for a fact that, the ranks and files of the club gave life back to the club at the administrative level in appointing some tried and tested hands to carry on the day-to-day operations of the club- Sylvester Asare now Bantamahene, Dr. K.K. Sarpong are few examples- whose managerial prowess breathe life into the club with professionalism and intellectual know-how in their operations. That, however, could not see the light of day because of limited time at the helm of affairs.
With little or no hope at all in resuscitating the club from her slumbers to pick up the button in joining the elites of Africa Football once more anytime soon, the coming in of Nana Yaw Amponsah evinced a new dawn into the club, which, thus far, has been fruitful to bridging the dichotomy to its peers in Africa football by inch which previous CEO's failed to achieve. It was foolhardy by many football followers to have cheaply concluded on the competence of Nana Yaw Amponsah to manage a club like Asante Kotoko with his age as a parameter as his guile and managerial acumen have whipped up and whit the appetite of the club's teeming supporters of getting back to the glory days of yesteryears.
The coming in of the young CEO has proven not to be a happenstance following a paradigm shift of the club's activities at managerial level to connote a modern way of running football, even though he took over the club in imbroglio that could have led to the collapse of many clubs around the world. His hardihood to accept the mantle as the club's CEO has renewed hope and faith in the minds of the club's supporters of getting the club back to where it belongs in Africa football.
Within a spate of two years, a lot has been done in metamorphosing the club to a professional side under his leadership and there are a lot that need to be done in reaching the level of the club's co-equals in Africa, some to be catered for under this stewardship of Nana Yaw Amponsah. All that is not rosy to make merry about with the microcosm of achievement chalked so far. Nonetheless, it puts a whole lot on the table to easily decipher on which path the club is charting which could not be envisaged decades ago.
Myriad of analyst and connoisseurs of the game have taken lightly the gusto to traject the club into a dependent entity without necessarily seeking for financial support from individuals which turns out to be murkier in telling the club's history folklore. Asante Kotoko now walk with pride, shoulders held high in checking the boxes of targets set by the Board of Directors for the Management led by Nana Yaw Amponsah, something that had become an herculean task for previous management in projecting the club to the top echelons of Africa Football.
Infrastructural works done so far is enviable and an indelible mark niched that, should this current Management leave office, it will take a much more selfless and determined group of people to equal what's achieved till date. As stated early on, Asante Kotoko, a club aged 87, should be wallowing in plethora of modernized football facilities that project the club positively in the eyes of the world as a serious football side. 
Management Teams have come and gone and that would not be the end of it. Many are yet to come; good and bad ones for that matter. If those who had come and left did a quarter of what Nana Yaw Amponsah has done for the club so far, Asante Kotoko would have been at another level all together and placed in-situ to attract sponsors and partnerships to support the club.
The sojourn ahead now for any Management Team to take over from Nana Yaw Amponsah's would be daunting as the latter's have risen the bar and set a standard for any future Management Team to follow. Surely, the ineffable Nana Yaw Amponsah could not have wheedled his way to becoming the CEO of the club as it is a blessing in disguise even if he did, assuming without admitting.
Nana Yaw Amponsah is not the Messiah to save the club's sluggishness in taking their birthright of stardom within a short time spate but "wo ye Paul a an ba ntɛm, nanso wo sen adikanfo".

By: Lateef Abdul Sadick 

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