FEATURE: Thumbs up Hearts of Oak

Published on: 01 August 2022

I don’t hide my Asante Kotoko affinity. I’m proud of it. So, it’s often not expected of me to see any good in rival club, Accra Hearts of Oak.

Yet, as a Ghana football journalist, it’s necessary that, I applaud what’s progressive, and that which advances development of clubs and Ghana football as a whole.

It’s why I doff my hat off for the leadership of Hearts of Oak. The Phobians might’ve their unique problems but their infrastructural work to elevate the standards at the club is worthy of commendation. If I’m a Hearts fan, I’ll surely demand results on the pitch but if my over 100-year-old club doesn’t have basic training facilities including hostels and offices for players and staff, I’ll be more disappointed.

Hearts fans must thank Board Chairman, Togbe Afede XIV and his team for the level of work undertaken at Pobiman and Adabraka, where construction of hostels, training pitches and office complex are respectively taking place. Pictures and videos of Hearts’ 34-bedroom hostel have emerged on social media and attracting rave reviews.

First, there’s a well-fitted hostel for senior team players as well as another for players of the junior team, technical members and office staff – all of which are to be handed over soon. Then, there’re four modern training pitches – three with natural grass and the other with an artificial turf. These are also nearing completion.

There’re also volleyball and golf pitches at the same Pobiman development site. The construction of the club’s office complex at Adabraka has reached the second floor according to my checks with Hearts’ Communications Manager, Kwame Opare-Addo. These shouldn’t have been news and notably for a club that’s 100 years+ but it’s exciting news for fans and commentators alike given what the present conditions are for them.

As someone who always talks about standards in club football in Ghana, the news at Hearts excite me. When Asante Kotoko Chief Executive Officer, Nana Yaw Amponsah, initiated the club’s Adako Jachie project, putting up a host of containers to give players fine avenues to wash down and rest after training, I commended the good work, which unfortunately has stalled for obvious reasons.

Kotoko’s Board/Management must dispassionately look at Adako Jachie issues. Bottlenecks associated with completing the project must be addressed. Now though, Hearts fans must to be on cloud nine. I know so well the difficulties with club football administration in our country but a proper, habitable place for players to live, train and get their jobs professionally done, isn’t too much of any Ghana Premier League side.

Today’s for Hearts. I’ve seen their advert seeking qualified personnel to fill certain administrative offices. That’s also commendable just like the progressive infrastructural works. Togbe Afede XIV and his managers deserve tons of praise for their commitment to lifting the standards at Hearts of Oak. In all, this adds immensely to developing club football in Ghana. Kudos, Phobia!