Perennial rivals, Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak will renew hostilities in week 8 of the Ghana Premier League according to the fixtures released by the Premier League Board (PLB).
The elite division which has been slated to begin on 4th February, 2017 will see all the sixteen clubs locking horns with one another for thirty weeks of football marathon.
But the spotlight as usual will be on week 8 at the Accra Sports Stadium where the two glamorous clubs will take centre stage .Glorious Hearts of Oak will take on their bitterest rivals Asante Kotoko in a game which determines the superiority and bragging rights of both clubs and their fans respectively.
Both clubs have beefed up their squads. But Asante Kotoko look the bigger beneficiary of the transfer season and of course the more prepared for the season ahead .They have brought in Zdravko Lugarusic, the former King Faisal and Ashantigold SC coach as well as some young and experienced players to increase the depth in the squad. Notable among them include the enterprising Baba Mahama from Techiman City, back to batan Yakubu Mohammed, Nafiu Mohammed both from Ashantigold as well as Abass Mohammed from Medeama SC.
However the laser light will be on mercurial midfielder Oleenu Ashitey who swapped the rainbow shirt for the red shirt .He has a chance to prove his former employees wrong and also enter into the history books to be among the few players to have worn both legendary jerseys.
Hearts of oak have a mission of their own .It is however unclear who their next head coach would be, three weeks to the start of the league .They are heavily relying on assistant coach Henry Wellington who has anchored the club in the absence of a head coach. Hearts have also added some known performers to the squad. Hearts pulled the purse for arguably the best midfielder in the Ghana Premier League last season and Medeama SC talisman Malik Akowuah .They have added fromer Wa All Stars defensive anchor Joshua Otoo. Ebusua Dwarfs’ reliable striker Bright Luqman was also brought in to augment the attack. Many players are on Hearts radar and more could be signed at any time since the transfer window has not been shut.
Both Hearts and Kotoko will get the opportunity to showcase their worth to the whole world after the Ghana Football Association(GFA) signed a bumper contract with Chinese broadcasting firm StarTimes, to cover and broadcast Ghana Premier League matches.
It will be recalled that Kotoko has had the best of the Phobians in recent times and Hearts will look forward to halt that run and bring smiles back to their teeming fans. Kotoko’s only option is to deny the Phobians any renaissance they have planned, starting with the crucial match on week 8 of the Ghana Premier League.