Asante Kotoko have drawn their first two matches in the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League season [against Eleven Wonders and Berekum Chelsea].
Reality is setting in for many of the board of directors and management members as well as the players.
It is not going to be a 'fairy tale' as many thought.
As a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Kotoko, I have a few points to share as someone who has followed the game in Ghana for many years.
I. There will be injuries:
The effect on the (performance of the) team remains to be seen.
II. Most teams and players put in more when they play Kotoko. Many of the current players in Kotoko did the same before they joined Kotoko. Now they are beginning to appreciate how it feels.
III. Kotoko fans love their team and players but they cannot be calm forever. After how many matches will they call for heads to roll if Kotoko continues to draw (or even lose)?
[The pressure will even be higher if arch rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak, begins to play (after their Covid-19 scare) and starts winning].
IV. Sponsorship is important. It eases the financial burden on the (management) team, but quality on the field of play wins matches.
It is important to attach the same attention to quality on the field of play if the team should dominate the local scene and beyond.
V. Behind every cloud is a silver lining. The unavailability of the Baba Yara (Kumasi) Sports stadium and the Covid-19 pandemic mean Kotoko has to play at unfavourable venues and without their intimidating supporters. If the team learns to do well under these conditions, they can do well in unfavourable conditions away from home in future.
VI. Convincing football fans 'sitting on the fence' to support the team.
Not every football fan supports Kotoko. Many fans support teams that do well. To get these fans to support the team means the team must do well, must win matches. If this does not happen, the club will struggle in its planned membership drive to register a million supporters to raise funds.
Everybody in Kotoko from the board through the management team to the technical team and players need to appreciate this.
Winning is crucial to the success of the club.
By Dr. Kofi Effah [Healthcare practitioner, specialising as a Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, in Bator, Volta, Ghana].