By Patrick Akoto
JE Sarpong has emerged as a prime contender for the Hearts of Oak coaching job vacated by the dismissal of CK Akunnor on Wednesday.
The former Liberty Professionals coach, currently without a club, is odds-favourite after significant backing on Wednesday evening, with Hearts chiefs believed to have made initial contact.
The club are on a hunt for Akunnor’s successor following his sacking after just a year and half at the capital-based club.
Sarpong was shown the door by Liberty in July this year but is understood to be keen on a return to his former club after expressing his desire to coach in the top-tier of Ghana football once again.
Sarpong has taken over the ‘favourite’ tag from tough-talking David Duncan, who was reported to be the front-runner for the vacant position.
The job was thought for Duncan to refuse until the experienced tactician came in the fray.
Insiders have told GHANAsoccernet.com that Duncan is only willing to accept the job on a fresh note- meaning either at the end of the first round or at the start of next season.
Black Stars assistant coach Maxwell Konadu seemed interested in the job but his engagements with the senior national team will serve as a hinderance.
At this moment of time, it’s Sarpong who is everyone’s bet to take the hot-seat at the Accra sports stadium.
The Phobians are racing against time to find Akunnor’s replacement ahead of November 18th big game against arch rivals Asante Kotoko in Kumasi.
Even though officials will not rush a decision, they are aware their supporters are anxious for decisive action to be taken.
Hearts are just above the relegation trap net after three defeats, a draw and a win.
Assistant coach Ben Adjei will take temporal charge of the club when they host fellow strugglers Real Tamale United on Sunday.
The Tamale-based side recorded a 1-0 win over Hearts in January 2011 to break a 33-year-old jinx at the Accra sports stadium.