Hearts of Oak have broken their 12-year Ghana Premier League jinx after winning the 2020/2021 domestic title. The glory sends them into next season’s Caf Champions League which starts September this year if nothing chances.
The Ghana Premier League giants are not new in African inter club football having first appeared in final of a continental Championship in 1977 and last won a Caf club trophy in 2004 after beating country side Asante Kotoko to the maiden Caf Confederation Cup final.
Before that Hearts lifted the Caf Champions League in 2000 after beating Esperance de Tunis 5-2 on aggregate over a two-legged clash. Since after the glories, the Ghana Premier League outfit have struggled to demonstrate their previous winning-form both domestically and continentlly, and they have even failed to enter into any Caf club competition since 2015.
They were eliminated by Esperance in the Confederation Cup playoffs after Hearts already crushing out AS Police in preliminaries, Olympique de Ngor in first round and Djoliba in the second round.
After being crowned champions of this season’s Ghana Premier League, Hearts will play in the Caf Champions League the first since 2008. The way Hearts conquered the domestic league season has risen hopes towards African Champions League after playing some beautiful football.
It’s understood that the Hearts Board has vowed to storm the upcoming Champions League with club’s hierarchy stating Hearts is not there in the Caf Champions League to add up to the number.
The former Champions League lifters have not openly talked about their target for the Champions League but it’s reckoned that they would want to lift the African title or least reach the group stages.
That is a difficult task that comes with huge work due to the likes of Zamalek, Esperance, Wydad Athletic Club, Raja Casablanca, Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly who all enter into the competition to fight for the ultimate.
The Ghanaian giants already know the tough nature of the African game which Al Ahly now hold their 10th title after beating Kaizer Chiefs in the final last week.
Hearts understand the dynamics of the Champions League as building strong squad is very essential in making meaningful impact.
Having this on the card, the Phobians have planned to make marquee signings to strengthen their squad ahead of the Caf Champions League revealed by Hearts of Oak Board member. .
The club first highlighted plans to bring in top talents to enhance their African Champions League chances when Board member Frank Nelson disclosed in an interview last week with Citi Sports.
“If we are going to go to Africa (to participate in the Caf Champions League) then we have to do some additions to the team.
“We also need to do some introductions (of new players) because we are going to play with big teams.
“We know our boys are very good but at the end of the day, we want to prove that we equally are very good.
“The teams we are going to meet (in the Champions League) need to know that we are not there just to add up to the numbers but Hearts of Oak are there for a reason.
“That reason is for us to do what we have done in the year 2000 and 2004 by lifting the (Champions League and Confederation Cup) trophies in Africa.”
The Hearts Board have already held discussions on major matters of raising funds for transfers and the type of players to come in.
It’s evident that Hearts may need quality additional backups at defense, midfield and the attacking departments. They may need to sign a right-back to compete Fatawu Mohammed and backup for Raddy Okouva who can leave the club for free before next season starts.
The Premier League champions may also need to bring in a top class midfielder starter together with backups for Emmanuel Nettey and Ansah Botchway. The area that may need the most reinforcement is wingers and center forwards.
Although Kwadwo Obeng, Victor Aidoo and Afriyie Barnierh have fired Hearts to the Ghana Premier League glory but Samuel Boadu’s side still need at least two top strikers of the Caf Champions League standard.
In light of plans to strengthen their squad for Africa, Hearts of Oak reportedly have names in the pipeline as they have already started proceedings to capture some of them. They are understood to in advanced stage to sign Great Olympics forward Gladson Awako.
It’s understood that Internationals known to be as game changers could join the Ghanaian giants. The need for them to bring in Uruguayan International Mauricio Affonso from Mamelodi Sundons has been talked.
“Certainly we need those game changers and we will bring them into the club.
“We know they are there,” he told Startimes on the sidelines during their coronation,” Frank Nelson added.
Hearts have also reportedly taken the decision to lure Prince Opoku-Agyemang from Medeama and Kotoko target Diawisie Taylor has been identify as Opoku-Agyemang’s alternative according to Wontumi Sports.
Besides, they have also penciled down Kwame Peprah would emerged top scorer for King Faisal with 12 goals in the ended season.
Follow Hearts of Oak Page to catch all the latest news ahead of their 2020/2021 Caf Champions League campaign.