Hearts on face-saving mission against All Blacks

BY: Peter Sarbah
• Samudeen Ibrahim — Hearts of Oak
• Samudeen Ibrahim — Hearts of Oak

Players of Swedru All Blacks will have a feel of Premier League action when they welcome Accra Hearts of Oak to the Swedru Stadium on Sunday.

It will be an opportunity for the Swedru-based club to measure their strength against a heavyweight club like Hearts, having flirted with the second tier league for well about a decade now.

For the Rainbow club, this will be a face-saving mission for their fans, following their disastrous friendly game that left them losing 2-0 back-to-back to arch rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, at the Baba Yara Stadium last month.

Those defeats left a dent on the reputation of the players, as well as Coach Seth Hoffmann, whose assumption of the job after former head coach, Henry Wellington’s, exit has not produced the desired results to confirm him as the substantive manager.

Indeed, the performance in Sunday’s game could be one of the yardsticks to determine his eligibility for the job and he must, therefore, strive to avoid being disgraced by a lower division club by ensuring that Hearts emerge victorious.

The Phobians may be going through some challenges following the exit of their skipper, Inusah Musah, and nimble-footed winger, Isaac Mensah, who failed to extend their contracts in pursuit of greener pastures with Angolan top-flight side Petro Atletico Luanda.

In spite of this challenge and the imminent knocking on the exit door by Patrick Razak, Coach Hoffman is expected to brave the odds by ensuring they handled any threat that would be presented by the Swedru-based club to walk away triumphant.

The camp of All Blacks is also not without a problem either, as their bench has been weakened by the departure of their substantive coach, Nana Andy Sinason, who is reported to be on a month’s attachment with Egyptian side, Al Ahly.

But in his absence, the team is still expected to put whatever problems they have in camp behind them and confront Hearts in their quest to embark on a giant-killing feat.