Clubs count down to league start

13 years ago

An exciting season appears in insight for Ghana’s sixteen premiership clubs as a good number of them over the weekend played some test games.

Preparations for the 2008/2009 Premier League campaign started long ago for some as players near full match fitness but for others it’s a time to justify their signings.

Kosta Papic’s Accra Hearts of Oak has been of the clubs which has been heavily involved in the pre-season build up.

The Phobians, yet to find out what their team would look like on the opening day of the league campaign managed a 2-1 win over Wa All Stars at the Ohene Djan Stadium on Sunday.

Hassan Mohammed and Kofi Abanga scored for the Accra-based side while Aminu Fuseini grabbed a consolation for the Blues.

However for the Blues, it was a good game against the former champions.

“It was a good exercise against Hearts of Oak. We still have some work to do with our tactical and positional play.

“The game saw us feature some new players who even hadn’t played in Accra before and especially against a big side like Hearts.

“We hope to build on this before the season starts,” an official of Wa All Stars said after the game.

The story was different for the defending league champions, Kumasi Asante Kotoko as the Porcupine Warriors suffered a 4-1 loss to Ghana’s national Under-17 side, the Black Stars at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Asante Kotoko featured players who were on trials with the aim of securing places in Bashir Hayford’s side.

Despite the loss, Bashir Hayford believes his Kumasi Asante Kotoko side will be up to their game when the Onetouch Premier League starts on November 23.

Kotoko has had little time to prepare for the new season because of their involvement in the Caf Confederations Cup and the domestic Top 4 competition.

Most of those games took place in the Ghanaian close season when other teams were preparing for the new season but Hayford does not expect that to have any effect over who runs away with the league title.

"I'm not worried at all,” he said. “Our players are already there and we need a little brush up and review our work for last season and move.

"Yes last season we travelled to Germany for pre-season and that worked for us but at that time most of the boys were new.”

Hayford admits however that his players may be tired from a long season and says he will give them some days to rest before the season kicks off.

"The League is starting soon and most of them are tired so they need rest. We played more games than any other team so we should relax.”

Berekum Chelsea, one of the three sides to secure promotion to the elite league recorded a morale boosting win as they pipped King Faisal 1-0 at the Sunyani Coronation Park.

Top Four Champions, Liberty Professionals struggled to a 1-1 drawn game against a 10-man Okwahu United side at Nkawkaw.

At Koforidua, Heart of Lions shared the spoils with a Koforidua select side in a game which ended 1-1.

The new premier league season would kick off on November 23.

Three new entrants Saint Mirren, Berekum Chelsea and Sekondi Eleven Wise make up the list of teams to compete in the 16-club league. Asante Kotoko won last season’s competition.