By Ameenu Shardow
Asante Kotoko’s fruitful partnership with Sunderland should serve as an eye opener to Ghanaian clubs including rivals Hearts of Oak according to International Relations Manager Kwame Baah-Nuakoh.
The Premier League champions have opened a new chapter in their running partnership agreement with the English club.
Kotoko are working towards receiving logistical, financial and technical support from Sunderland in the commencement of their youth academy by the end of the year.
The Ghanaian giants have already benefited from coaching and administrative exchange programs from the Premier League outfit.
Kotoko are now looking to advance their relationship with Sunderland while also playing a trail-blazing role to open an avenue for other Ghanaian clubs to benefit from a similar partnership.
Baah-Nuakoh – the International Relations Manager for Kotoko feels Ghanaian clubs need to take the opportunity provided by Kotoko to properly market their clubs especially with Hearts of Oak’s rich history, tradition and achievements.
“Kotoko’s relationship with Sunderland is not only good for Kotoko but for all other Ghanaian clubs,” he told GHANAsoccernet.com.
“We have taken the lead but then it beholds on the other clubs to also look out for similar international partnership to advance their course.
“Hearts of Oak for instance, I believe have not fully exploited the opportunities presented with their Champions Legaue, Super Cup and Confederations Cup feats.
“It is never too late and they can still do it. More and more clubs all over the world are taking advantage of such opportunities and Ghanaian clubs should not be left out.
“There is a lot to learn and benefit from such partnerships and I hope our Ghanaian clubs can also seize this opportunity and make the most out of it.”
Hearts were reportedly in talks to acquiring a similar partnership with Spanish giants Barcelona but not much has been heard of that bid since the news first broke two years ago.
AshGold striker Yakubu Mohammed has pledged to quickly work to adapt to the South African Premier Soccer League if he completes his move to Orlando Pirates.
The 23-year-old is set to undergo medicals next week to complete a three-year move to the Buccaneers following AshGold’s agreement to sell the striker.
He joins Ghana first choice goalkeeper Fatau Dauda who has also signed a three-year deal.
The powerful center-forward has netted 14 times in the Ghana Premier League and is also a key player for the Ghana CHAN squad.
Most Ghanaian players struggle to adapt to the South African top-flight with last season Golden Shoe Award winner Emmanuel Baffour failing to live up to the bill since joining Mamelodi Sundowns from New Edubiase United.
However Yakubu insists he would work to adapt quickly to the PSL’s style.
“The league there is different and I must work hard to adapt to the style. I’m not Emmanuel Baffour, I’m different. Maybe the conditions were different for him there,” he said.
Yakubu was on the radar of both Kotoko and Hearts of Oak but he has snubbed the two Ghanaian giants to join Pirate
Ghana’s top-flight league is set for a massive revolution as the country’s FA will start the phased implementation of the Club Licensing System from next season.
Following Congress’ adoption and passing of the Club Licensing Regulations last year, the Ghana Football Association will take another step next month towards the implementation process.
An Administration Course will be run by the GFA in conjunction with FIFA from 15th – 19th July, 2013 at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence in Prampram to deliberate on the Club Licensing system.
Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, members of the Executive Committee and RFA chairmen will all be participants at the four-day seminar which will include CEOs of Premier League sides.
The Club Licensing Regulations are the basic working documents for member associations that incorporate the minimum requirements and guidelines for every criteria for compliance as a basis for the issuance of a license to any club.
According to the document, every club must fulfil requirements for a license and these are divided into five categories (sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial), with each category being split into three grades A-C (mandatory and best-practice recommendation).
Asante Kotoko’s U18 team will travel to England by the end of this month on the invitation of Sunderland, MTNFootball.com can exclusively reveal.
The team will be engaged in a couple friendly matches lined up against the youth sides of Sunderland, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough.
Sunderland are also looking to invite the youth team of South African club Bidvest Wits to engage the Porcupine Warriors.
The Kotoko U18 team will be touring several places during their 10-day stay in the UK.
“Sunderland have invited our U18 team over for some friendly games and some other activities,” Kotoko’s International Relations Manager Kwame Baah-Nuakoh told MTNFootball.com.
“The team is expected to be in England from August 1-10 and will be engaged in a series of lined up activities including playing friendly games against the youth teams of Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
“Efforts are also being made to bring Bidvest Wits from South Africa.
“Our U18 team have already begun preparations towards this trip and am sure in the coming days you will be hearing of some of the local friendly games they will be playing to get themselves in shape ahead of the trip.”
The invitation of Kotoko’s U18 team forms part of a new chapter in the running partnership agreement between Sunderland and the Ghana Premier League champions.
The English club have also pledged to support Kotoko raise the needed funds to begin its youth academy expected by the end of this year.