Kotoko's 18-man squad speak on their chances against Algerian JSM Bejaia
Kotoko’s 18-man squad have shared their thoughts on Fridays’ CAF Champions League first leg tie at JSM Bejaia.
Soulama Abdoulaye – Goalkeeper
Playing in Algeria is nothing new to me because I have been there before. I kept the post when Kotoko lost 0-2 to JS Kabylie in Tito Ozi during the 2007/08 CAF Confederation Cup. It was indeed a painful defeat because if we had won that game, it would have brightened our chances in the group stage. I am happy that we are meeting another Algerian side, JSM Bajaia. We will do everything possible to beat them to serve as vengeance for our last defeat to JS Kabylie.
Isaac Amoako – Goalkeeper
We have started the CAF Champions League well and we will never look back. Just as we defeated Sony Nguema home and away, we will apply the necessary means to eliminate JSM Bajaia. I am happy with the physical condition of all my team mates. Everybody is fit and strong for the task ahead. Kofi Nti Boakye who missed the second leg against Sony Nguema due to injury has recovered. His presence will add value to our game because he has a lot of experience. All what we need from the fans is total prayers and support.
Akwasi Bobie Ansah – Defender
I have been with Kotoko for only a few months and I appreciate the encouragement and great support that we have so far received from management, coaches and the fans in our quest to rule Africa. It is my hope that we will win the CAF Champions League for our fans for being so loyal to the club. I know this will require much effort, particularly the immediate task against JSM Bajaia but with team work we can achieve it.
Amos Frimpong – Defender
Management has talked to us a lot ahead of today’s game. Last Sunday for instance Dr. K.K Sarpong visited us at the Lizzy’s Sports Complex in Accra and gave us a lot of advice. We a have taken great lessons from it. We are going into today’s game with only one thing in mind – to beat JSM Bajaia and come back home to complete the job.
Joseph Ochaya – Defender
We have a mission to fulfill this season – to deliver CAF Champions League, the Glo Premier League and the FA Cup. We are taking each competition at a time. Now the focus is on Bajaia. We have prepared well physically and mentality for them. I am confident our preparations will pay off by the close of today. I want the fans to keep supporting us in prayers.
Ben Adama – Defender
We have organized a series of meetings among ourselves all in preparation towards today’s game. I met North African clubs a couple of times during my playing days with Africa Sports so I know the antics they sometimes adopt especially at home. I have revealed all their tricks to my colleagues and I believe this will guide us in our encounter with Bajaia today.
Ohene Brenya – Skipper
We are bracing up for a tough game. Algerian clubs over the years have given Kotoko a tough time. I expect a similar opposition from JSM Bajaia but Kotoko will surely live up to their name. The massive home support cannot discourage us because we see such great support in Kumasi all the time. Nobody should lose hope for we will surely deliver the goods.
Kwabena Adusei – Defender
It was great for us in the first phase against Sony Nguema. We ought to keep that momentum against Bajaia today. From the look of things this game will be a little bit tougher because North African clubs have a good record in CAF Inter Club competitions but we will be equal to the task. We will fight for good results in order to avoid undue pressure in the second leg.
Rashid Sumaila – Defender
My first trophy with Kotoko was the Super Cup. Now my focus is on the CAF Champions League and the Glo Premiership. I want to help Kotoko to clinch these trophies before I leave for Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa at the end of the season. I am calling on the fans to throw their total weight behind us in spirit for we will give them their hearts desire.
Godfred Asante – Midfielder
Through the effort of management we got the chance to watch the video clips of JSM Bajaia. We have studied their style of play and have adopted the necessary strategy to face them. If they think they defeated Olympic FC 3-0 at home so it will be the same story today, they are mistaken. We will beat them for all to see that indeed we are back in Africa with a big bang.
Michael Akuffu – Midfielder
This is the first time some of us are playing in the CAF Champions League so we have attached much importance to the competition. We want to conquer Africa and make names for ourselves. We started on a brilliant note and we are hoping to continue against Bajaia today. If we manage to eliminate them and go ahead to scale the next hurdle and get to the group stage, trust me Kotoko will conquer Africa this season.
Issah Yakubu – Midfielder
I missed the first game against Sony Nguema because of injury. I am happy to join the team this time round. This is going to be my first experience in Africa and I will do my best to bring victory. I don’t know much about JSM Bajaia but the little that I have read about them shows that they are good at home. But I am positive we have the arsenal to deal with them.
Michael Helegbe – Midfielder
Playing in the CAF Champions League is obviously the dream of every player because it is one of the continent’s flagship competitions. We are therefore utilizing this opportunity very well. By the grace of God we passed through the first game successfully. All eyes are on us to do it again against this Algerian side. I anticipate a stiff opposition this evening but the porcupine spirit will surely prevail at the end of the day.
David Ofei – Midfielder
If pedigree is anything to rely on then everybody can say that Kotoko will beat JSM Bajaia because this is their first experience in the Champions League. But we are not taking chances because football does not follow logic. Besides only the champion clubs are playing in this competition so we respect Bajaia. We will face them with all seriousness and make sure we get a good result.
Richard Mpong – Midfielder
The CAF Champions League was one of the factors that motivated me to join Kotoko. When I was playing for Kessben FC and later Medeama SC, I kept praying to get the chance to play in this competition. Now that the opportunity has come, I have to make good use of it and help Kotoko to go places. I did well in the first game against Sony Nguema and I am expecting another good show today.
Yusif Abdul Aziz – Striker
I have already made my intention clear that I want to win the goal king title in this competition. So far I have scored two goals in two games. I was on target when Kotoko humiliated Sony Nguema 7-0 in Kumasi. I went ahead to score the lone goal that gave Kotoko victory in Malabo. It is my hope to increase the tally as we come face to face with JSM Bajaia today. I know the cohesion and understanding among us will definitely lead us to success.
Seidu Bancey – Striker
Things were a little tough for me when I first joined Kotoko. I am excited that with time I have found my scoring boots. I accept that we the strikers especially squandered some decent chances in the first game against Sony Nguema. I promise that the situation will improve today.
Kofi Nti Boakye – Striker
It feels good to join the team again after picking injury in the first leg against Sony Nguema in Kumasi. I think today’s clash with Bajaia is going to be a different ball game all together because Bajaia looks stronger than Nguema. But whatever the case may be we will work hard to defend the flag of Ghana. We have done our home work well and I can confidently say that we will win today’s game.