Management of Accra Hearts of Oak have refuted recent media reports that they are close to naming former two time Ghana Premier League Title and MTN FA Cup winning coach of Asante Kotoko – Mas-Ud Dramani as the club’s new Head Coach.
The ‘rainbow cladded’ capital based club have been without a substantive head coach following the canning of Japanese American coach - Kenichi Yatsuhashi – this past June, the unsuccessful two month stint at the helm by Portuguese trainer, Sergio Traguil, and the handing over of the reins to Assistant – Yaw Preko – to see the club through the last couple of games to close out the 2015/16 GPL season.
The source of the denial of an impending signing of Mas-Ud Dramani is the club’s Communication Director – Kwame Opare Addo – who had this to say in an exclusive interview with Cape Coast based ATL FM.
“Hearts is expected to announce the new head coach of the club within the shortest possible time so we are still searching for a competent coach to guide the club for the upcoming season and this work has been assigned to a committee and this committee has not yet released any name out so whatever name you hear in the public is absolutely false.’’
The Phobians are presently being taken through their preseason paces by newly signed Assistant Coach – Henry Lamptey Wellington – and have made it through to the semi-finals stage of the ongoing GHALCA 6 tourney following a loss and a tie in their first two matches.
The Phobians are currently focused on playing archrivals Asante Kotoko this Sunday in the ongoing G6 tourney.
In line with that, they played a double (a two-part 60 minute friendly) with Division 2 side – Vision Explorers Soccer Academy (VESA) – and won by an aggregate of three goals to one at the Pantang Vision Explorers Stadium.
First half goals from Maxwell Boakye and Bernard Dong Bortey in the first game gave the Phobians a 2-1 win, and Kwame Kizito’s lone strike was the difference maker in the second game.
The friendly also saw the debut of Hearts of Oak’s recent signing – Malik Akowuah – in Hearts of Oak of colors. His move to Hearts from Medeama SC had being marred with some uncertainty following alleged claims from the latter that it wasn’t a done deal.
A Hearts of Oak match report on the game had lofty praise for clubs biggest signing thus far.
''The Hearts marquee signing slotted seamlessly at the heart of the Hearts midfield controlling and dictating play for the Phobians as they brushed aside the Division 2 side.
''Akowuah signed for Hearts in the first week of November but filibustering from his former side Medeama meant he had to wait for a few days to play his first game for Hearts.
''The experienced midfielder did not need time to adjust or settle in his new surroundings as he nonchalantly dictated play against the lower league side on his first start. He could have got an assist on the day but for Maxwell Boakye's rushed strike after latching on a tailor-made pass from the midfield metronome.
''Akowuah looked a relieved and happy man in Hearts colors and we pray he continues to smile whilst hurting the opposition for us in every game.''
According to the report, he played for an hour in the game.
Veteran winger Bernard Don Bortey who has had stints with Hearts of Oak, Aduana Stars and New Edubiase on the local scene highlighted a likely return to the GPL scenery with a goal from the spot, converting at the 24th minute mark to add his name to the scoresheet.
Bernard Don Bortey remains on the list of ‘yet to be signed’ players of Accra Hearts of Oak players for the impending 2016/17 season and has sought to damp down concerns over his age, saying…
“I can continue playing for the next ten years. Look at me it’s still the same old Don Bortey,” Bortey said
‘”Some people learn how to play football while others are gifted I am gifted.”
In a brief message to the Phobian fraternity in an interview clip posted on Twitter, Bortey requested Hearts of Oak fans to pray for him to get strong, “…Dong Bortey is back…” He assured fans of a goal against Kotoko in Sunday’s G6 tourney should he be featured in the game.
“Unless the coach doesn’t take me to Kumasi. If the coach takes me I will score them. They are my girlfriend,” he said after the game.
The 35 year old versatile winger with 9 goals to his credit from 27 international outings for Ghana and last played for Swedish Division 2 side – Ange IF in 2015.
He first moved to Hearts in 2001 from Tema GHAPOHA.