Accra Hearts of Oak Executive Chairman, His Royal Highness Togbe Afede XIV, has challenged the players of the club to aim for the highest level, adding they must work hard and with the discipline to be able to reach the very top.
Speaking at the pre-season annual dinner party organized at his residence, Togbe Afede XIV urged the players to use his example to break barriers in their field.
“As I have always said, ‘our work is not done until we see some of you emerge as some of the best players in the world," he told the club official website.
“And please when I say it; believe me that it is possible. I have said it many times but I will say it again. My mother was selling palm-wine but I aspired to go to one of the best schools in the world and I did and that is Yale University.
“The same way you can also aspire to be among the best footballers in the world. Do you understand that? What I am telling you is that just as we have done it in our respective fields; you also can do it and our objective here is to ensure that you also do it in your field until some of you become world beaters our work is not done. I want to assure you that you can do it; just believe in yourself and aim for the skies; aim high.
“You guys must aspire and believe me when you want to reach for the top; you will get there. Sometimes it is timidity on our part; mediocre thinking on our part that will see us hopping from Vietnam to Malaysia. How can you leave Ghana and go to Vietnam?
“Anytime I hear any Hearts of Oak player trying to go to Malaysia; I feel like I have failed; I feel sad. So I beg you, the reason why we have assembled these people here is to let you people know that you can do it. So please from hence, each one of you must aim for the highest level. If you are a defender, the likes of Pique should be your aspiration – it is extremely important, you can do it.
“If you are a midfielder, the likes of Luka Modric are there to serve as your example. If you are an attacker, the Ronaldos, Messis, the Suarez's – they have all been like you before.
“The same way I have been able to rise and rub shoulders with people in the advanced countries in my field; you also can do the same. Our work is not done until you guys are able to work to that level and that is why we are here, and that is why we have decided that we will bring Mr Mark Noonan.
“From hence, Hearts will be run extremely professionally like any other professional club across the world is run. That is why we have brought somebody with that kind of experience so please we are doing that in your interest.
“Work very hard but remember work as a team and be disciplined both on and off the field so you can achieve the best for yourselves and your families. Imagine coming back from the US and earning $200,000 a month. That is even small with the standards of Sanchez and co., You know how much Sanchez earns now? Let that be the aspirations you can do it. You just have to work hard and when you return home on a visit; your families will hail you; they will take pride in you. The whole of Ghana will celebrate you. When you achieve that then my work is done. Please take it from me. Each one of you here can do it.
“Let us all aim high but we just don’t dream but we have to back it up with hard work. Remember it is not an individual game it is a team game and requires discipline.
“When I say hard work, it is not just the physical exertion - the mental. The best players are the ones who use their minds and do the simplest things.
“Once again we brought you here to interact with your CEO; to fraternize with your management, the technical team and of course the board. I am very happy that you are here and will all be inspired to make Accra Hearts of Oak the best team in Ghana, the best team in Africa and the best team in the world. It is possible.”