Agoronet's Kojo Owusu Okyere takes us through some high points in the FCPPL season, with emphasis on Kotoko ,Inter Allies and a few others.
Well, it was not the most inspiring and exciting league season in our time, but the 2013/14 league season will be one to forget for many teams, fans and followers of the Ghana Premier League, which was christened the “First Capital Plus Bank Premier League” somewhere in January 2014.
But the thin line between success and failure in modern-day football has been there for all to see from Week 1 to Week 30, many have struggled – others have emerged from traumatic situations.
WE ARE ON 23 NOW……..
The Grand Asante Kotoko’s metamorphosis continues; three league titles in succession - a new surge of confidence - a new sense of purpose and every hope that a team seemingly rubbing shoulders with its African counterpart turned out to be local champions.
But the narrative is drained a bit for now; after all they have knitted up their 23rd league title and three in a row in record times in what’s becoming one of the most dominant single season displays in the history of Ghana Football.
Kotoko is a club whose followers are so passionate about the game and coaching a club of such nature comes with its own challenges and must work extra hard in order to meet the high demand and expectation of the team. In doing so, Kotoko under the stewardship of Mas-Ud Didi Dramani dug deep to come away with all the points from Hearts Of Oak, Wa Allstars and Inter-Allies before they met their waterloo in Week 7 against newly promoted Bechem United.
Elsewhere in Accra, the 2013/14 season will be one to forget for the Phobian faithful’s. Their team conceded a record number of goals and lost a record number of games at home which was uncharacteristic of the rainbow boys.
However, all of this is in history now, and the club can prepare itself for their 22nd season in the Ghana Premier League. But when the children of the future ask why Hearts Of Oak with more resources than anybody else and with evidence that they are one of the master of the game in Ghana, came to lose the second spot for the African Champions League to Heart Of Lions, what shall we tell them?
Structural changes from the top to down have been underlined, as the reasons for the poor show this season. But after those changes, several questions were begging to be answered. A typical question is what could have caused the abrupt end of Hearts and Duncan relationship? How much of an impact can be attributed directly to the sacking of Duncan and Neil Amstrong? Was Hearts in anyway going to sustain that level of play through the second round of the season and perhaps beyond after the mutual termination of Duncan’s contract?
For me, there was just very little intrigue narrative to this because managing a team isn’t just a question of naming your best eleven players and sending them out to the pitch. Each part of a team must complement the other; One player’s strength must cover another’s weakness, but in this case, Hearts did lack balance to make sure the side has enough of everything to thrive which saw them shuttling between 2nd and 3rd place most of the season.
THE UNTOLD STORY………..
It could be all Fools day, month and years and you would surely have been taken for one had you forecast that the newly-promoted sides (Inter-Allies, Bechem United and Hasaacas) could finished in the relegation spots and head back to the wilderness. But it didn’t happen like we thought.
For instances, Inter-Allies got it all wrong in the first round ( P15, W4, D0, L11, GF 13, GA20 GD -7, PTS 12) and anchored at the foot of the log but crawled back in the second round in style, dispatching teams in a heroic fashion.
They were dead and buried when Herbert Addo took over but the former Aduana coach inherited a side with 12points, no confidence and had to be persuaded to take the job according to my sources. Yet Inter Allies did improve beyond recognition since then; Allies rise to mid-table were built around a solid defence, a tireless midfield, fine wing play and selfless strikers which we all know its part of the allure of Ghana football.
INTER-ALLIES: HOME GAMES- AWAY GAMES
WIN – 9 WIN - 3
DRAW – 1 DRAW - 4
LOSSES – 5 LOSSES – 8
SEE YOU SOME OTHER TIME………………..
This must be it. Surely there was no chance of salvation for Amidaus Professionals and King Faisal as they remain hopelessly adrift the foot of the table after a cruelest of defeats and draws. King Faisal’s game against Berekum Chelsea was billed as a “must win” game for them but they ended it in a solitary point apiece.
There is no older dinosaur than Mysterious Ebusua Dwarfs in the Ghana league. The Cape Coast side was famously relegated sometime back from the league, a span of time running many years. However, after a truly awful 2013/14 season, in which the club finished 15th; everyone knows finishing in that spot in a 16- team league is equal to taking an early shower in the wilderness of the Division one.
PLAY LIKE YOU DID, AND YOU’RE OUT NEXT TIME…………………
Aduana Stars pulled off the slimmest of relegation salvation after a 2-0 win at the Agyeman Badu Park which the relegation escape both rankled and relieved fans.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Berekum Chelsea, Liberty