Preview: Hearts, Kotoko seek New Year lift

13 years ago

Fresh from a long festive season, the New Year sees league football return to the grounds as clubs bounce back from the break in the Glo Premier League.

The New Year has come with renewed expectations as the country's traditional giants, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak off their best in opening half of the campaign continue to chase the emerging forces in the league.

A 20-day break would appear good enough time for clubs both at the top and bottom of the standings to review their ambitions for the year.

The weekend’s fixture pits the table toppers Chelsea with the struggling newcomers Mighty Jets at the Golden City Park in Berekum. Chelsea ended the first round with a seven-point gap at the top and would be looking to maintain their momentum as they aim for their first league title.

Orlando Wellington, coach of the side is in no doubt his charges ability to hold on till the last day of the season.

"We know it will not be easy but we have played well, trained well and are very determined and confident that we can hold and become champions. We are sure the league trophy will stay in this region," Wellington said.

The weekend presents the league with its first derby clash of the year as Aduana Stars welcome Berekum Arsenals to the Dormaa Park.

New Edubiase, one of the surprise title candidates and who are second take on Heart of Lions at the Gyemfis Park.

AshantiGold could heap more misery on bottom side B.A. Stars when the two sides meet at the Coronation Park.

At the Robert Mensah Stadium, Dwarfs will try to claim all three points when Liberty Professionals come visiting.

Asante Kotoko coach Bogdan Korak has warned the club's fans that the signing of 14 new players will not mean an automatic upturn in fortunes for the troubled side.

But the Serb should be aware of that lowering expectations would not be welcomed by the fans as Kotoko, one point above the relegation zone travel to the Wa Park to face All Stars.

"We have signed fourteen players, all quality players but they need conditioning, they need time to gel together and they need time to know each other. We will be better in the second round but these things take time," he said as Kotoko hope to improve on the standings.

Hearts of Oak would be hoping that the New Year brings them something refreshing when they meet Real Tamale United, a side battling to avoid relegation at the Tamale Sports Stadium.

Following their rechristening, Medeama, formerly known as Kessben FC would be hoping that their change of name would bring them a change in fortune when they travel to the Baba Yara Stadium to play King Faisal in the evening kick off fixture.