With the Afcon vibe ebbing on the Ghanaian football scene, fans have not had to wait for long for their next football fix. It's the return of the exciting Ghana Premier League!
Hearts need a revival badly after not winning a trophy since 2009, and midfielder Malik Akowuah claims the team are poised to meet their target of winning their opening five matches.
The Phobians are hoping to better last season’s record – four wins and a draw in first five games – by winning all five this term. "We have sat to talk to ourselves as players. We have targeted wins in our first five matches of the season so we are doing it game after game," Akowuah, who has previously represented AshGold as well, said.
"We will make sure we win on Monday against Inter Allies FC and beat Medeama SC in our next by all means. "As for Inter Allies FC, I promise we will beat them on Monday at the El Wak stadium."
Ashgold SC is seeking to break the deadlock between them and Aduana Stars at the opening of the season. That game comes off February 12 at the Nana Agyeman Badu Park in Dormaa Ahenkro. The last five meetings between the two sides have resulted in two wins to each side and a draw.
This makes the opening clash a major point of contention between the two teams. Among the major signings expected to impact the performance of Ashgold SC in this game is defender Richard Idun. Idun joined Ashgold SC from Dreams FC and his agility and sharp reflexes will be a definite boost to the defence of Ashgold SC.
The signing of former Ghana under-23 midfielder Conney Idan is also expected to add to the potency of the Ashgold SC midfield.
Kotoko are also badly in need of league silverware to appease fans. New head coach Zdravko Lugarusic has however been tempering expectations that have come due to the positive vibes emanating from Kumasi. “You ask me can I assure the Kotoko supporters that I’ll win the league? You are jumping from the first game in the league and you’re talking about what we are going to do at the end of the season,” the Croat said.
“The league is not a 100 metre sprint, it is a marathon. Together with my technical team and the players, we will do our best to make the supporters happy.”
They have to do that by beating Liberty on Sunday. The Dansoman-based club have fired warning shots ahead of the meeting. “We’re ready to battle Asante Kotoko and pick three points in the first game of the season will boost the morale of the team. We know the task ahead will not be easy but I trust my players to deliver on the day,” says George Afriyie, a club director.
Dwarfs will aim to introduce the Ghana Premier league to new boys Bolga All Stars in a special way on Sunday at the Cape Coast Stadium, which will be Mysterious side's home for the first time ever.
They will however be shorn of the services of the prolific Bright Lukman, who is with Hearts following a productive 37 goal-haul over two seasons for Ebusua. The man to be in his stead in Osman Mohammed, who faces huge pressure to fill those boots.
Two teams, Wa All Stars and Bechem United will not be in action this weekend due to commitments in African club competitions.
Kotoko v Liberty
Dwarfs v Bolga All Stars
Tema Youth v Berekum Chelsea
Medeama v WAFA
Aduana Stars v AshGold SC
Inter Allies v Hearts