Akonnor: My players and I are ready for Africa

Author: George Ernest Asare
A number of friendly matches have been lined up for Kotoko in the build-up to their continental campaign

Charles Kwabla Akonnor is bracing for the biggest challenge of his career as he leads Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s CAF Confederation Cup campaign next year with a task to restore the club’s lost glory as one of the continent’s giants.

Akonnor, who joined Kotoko last month, told the Graphic Sports Online that the continental assignment was “very challenging and tough” but indicated that the technical team and the playing body had psyched themselves up and were prepared for the task ahead to prove that Kotoko was one of the best sides in Africa.

“Going to Africa as a new coach who is assembling new players is very challenging. It is really tough, but that is what we are there for. The assignment is not about me as a coach or the players, but about that club which is well known in Africa and beyond,” said the coach.

Akonnor, who makes his first continental campaign as a coach, is not oblivious of the high expectation of the Kotoko faithful who want to see the two-time African champions back in CAF competitions with a bang. And to achieve those lofty expectations, the club’s management has arranged a number of international friendlies to keep the teams in shape.

“The team is there for our numerous fans and I know that they will offer us all the support we need to enable us to excel and make them proud.

As part of our preparations, we will engage two teams in international friendly matches to test the combat readiness of our players. Kotoko will first play a top team in Togo and we are also in line to play ASEC of Cote d’Ivoire to put the players in good shape before storming Africa,” he explained.

According to Coach Akonnor, the old players were coping very well with their training regimen and expressed the hope that the new recruits would also adapt to their strategy when they start their residential camping.