Taylor reveals secret of Hearts’ African dominance

Author: George Ernest Asare
Flashback: Charles Taylor in action during his days with Hearts

A KEY member of Accra Hearts of Oak’s 2001 Africa Super Cup winning team, Charles Asampong Taylor, has attributed the Phobians invincibility in their era to the impregnable defence that comprised Dan Quaye, Jacob Nettey, Stephen Tetteh and Agyemang Duah.

Describing that solid defensive set-up as being more than a fortress, Taylor noted that “as a striker, such reliable players in defence always motivate you to surge forward and probe for goals.

In my days with Accra Heats of Oak, players such as Dan Quaye, Jacob Nettey, Stephen Tetteh and Agyemang Duah at the back gave strikers double confidence to always move forward to probe for goals, no matter the opposition”.

Taylor, who retired from active football five years ago, told Graphic Sports Online in an exclusive interview that his confidence was always high whenever he played with that set of defenders.

“I never feared opposing teams because our defenders were more than a fortress as they formed a formidable barrier which was difficult to penetrate,” he stated.

He revealed that ''when they were behind the attackers, it gave us a big boost to fight hard to score the goals. That explained why Hearts always dominated both the local league and the continental matches.

"The focus of the attackers in those days was to score and we did it to the admiration of the fans.”

Turning to his striking partners made up of Ishmael Addo and Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Taylor said the trio formed a deadly partnership in attack and succeeded in causing panic among opposing teams.

“In attack, my partnership with Osei Kuffour and Ishmael Addo was superb. We had played together for sometime and knew each other’s style of play and movement.

"The three of us had a pattern of inter-positional passes which always confused our opponents, making it possible for us to penetrate their defence easily to bang in the goals,” he explained.

“Our main assets were our speed, quick inter-positional ball control and distribution, as well as the magnificent way we exploded to score goals from different angles,” he recalled with nostalgia.

According to Taylor, it was one of such partnerships which made it possible for Hearts to beat Zamelek 2-0 in Kumasi to win the Super Cup.  

“In the course of the match, an inter-positional play among the three of us led to Osei Kuffour scoring the second goal after I had scored the match opener to clinch the Super Cup for Hearts in 2001,” he stressed