After Week 24 of the Ghanaian GLO Premier League 2012-2013, Hearts of Oak SC is number eight at the table. A mid-level finish will be quite a disappointment for a team that has won the title 19 times.
Hearts of Oak SC has used a lot of players this season. A total of 49 different players have gotten playing time or time on the bench. Personally, I think this is one of the reasons behind the rather uneventful season. Hearts of Oak SC is one of the most popular teams in Ghana and I know that the die-hard fans have questioned the quality of several players that have featured for the Phobians so far this season. Hearts of Oak SC has tried out several young, inexperienced players, seemingly without the quality to play top-level football in Ghana.
However; it’s not all bad at Hearts of Oak SC. The squad includes some of the best players in the country with team captain Mahatma Otoo as the biggest star. Otoo is a hard-working, energetic striker without any weaknesses. At times, Otoo has been an one man attack and without his contributuons, the Phobians could have been relegation candidates. Otoo is the current top scorer in the GLO Premier League with 13 goals in 22 matches. Otoo is a fringe player at the Black Stars, the Ghana national football team, and I expect him to sign a deal with an European club during the summer. He will be sorely missed at Hearts of Oak SC.
The experienced Lugard Tetteh, formerly of Zaytuna FC, Sporting Mirren FC and Berekum Arsenal FC, is the first-choice goalkeeper at the club. This is quite a surprise to me as I would have expected veteran Sammy Adjei or Philemon McCarthy to wear the number one shirt. Tetteh has looked quite steady between the sticks but I have a theory that the Phobians will be looking for a new number one for the GLO Premier League 2013-2014. The current backup goalkeeper is actually youngster Clement Ashitey who has been on the bench for the last 10 league matches.
Strongman Godwin Osei Bonsu has had a poor season at centre-back. Currently, the favoured central defenders seem to be Robin Gnagne, the young Ivorian, and Nuru Sulley, signed from Mighty Jets FC. Gnagne, formerly of the Red Bull Academy, is one of the revelations of the season, Gnagne is a tall, athletic central defender with excellent ball-control. Gnagne is actually quite skilful – which can be somewhat dangerous at times. When Gnagne gains more experience, he will become a quality player.
At right-back, Emmanuel Ansong, formerly of Aduana Stars FC, has looked quite impressive. At left-back, new signing Joseph Owusu Bempah, formerly of New Edubiase United FC, has fitted in well since his arrival in February 2013. Seth Owusu is also an option at left-back, but the burly defender is struggling to find the form he showed for Kessben FC in 2010-2011. Stephen Tetteh, who struggled to get playing time at lowly Tema Youth FC, is a utility player who has looked promising. Tetteh is able to play at both full-backs or as a defensive midfielder / winger.
Abubakar Moro is the main midfielder in the squad, a tireless, workaholic player with excellent ball-winning ability and strong tackles. The 19-year old Thomas Abbey is a skilful and talented player, often attacking from the left. The creative Romeo Agban is far from consistent but when he is in form, he is a creative spark, often found on the right side of the midfield. The promising Ollenu Ashitey, arguably the most interesting teenager in the squad, is always working hard for his team and his dribbling can be a joy to watch. Ashitey is primarily an attacking midfielder but can basically play in any attacking role. Watch out for the hard-working midfielder Winful Cobbina who is about to establish himself in the first eleven.
As already mentioned, it’s been all about Otoo up front. New signing James Bissue, formerly of Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel, has been a disappointment. Gilbert Fiamenyoh, who looked extremely promising at Heart of Lions FC, has been a shadow of himself, mostly because of injuries.
The picture is of Winful Cobbina, celebrating his goal against Asante Kotoko FC on 05.05.2013. The picture was found on www.accraheartsofoak.com.
|ABANKWA, Abdul Aziz||D||GHA||1+1||0|
|ABBEY, Thomas Arnold||AM||16.08.1993||GHA||14+1||1|
|BEMPAH, Joseph Owusu||D||GHA||9||0|
|BONSU, Godwin Osei||D||03.03.1989||GHA||9||2|
|GYIMAH, Prince Attakora||M / F||25.12.1990||GHA||4+1||1|
|MUSAH, Yakubu||M / F||GHA||3+1||0|
|NKRUMAH, Douglas||M / F||28.11.1986||GHA||0+1||0|
|OFORI, Isaac||M / F||GHA||2+3||0|
|TETTEH, Stephen||D / M||GHA||6||0|