Asante Kotoko considering appointing former Black Stars coach Mariano Barreto as manager

Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko are nearing the appointment of Mariano Barreto as their substantive head coach.

Kotoko fire Maxwell Konadu in December 2020 to see the head coaching job become vacant three months although Johnson Smith and Abdul Gazale have worked together on the interim til now.

The two have impressed in the Ghana Premier League beating King Faisal to move to a third place but their campaign in African football has been below power which Kotoko need more experienced man to guide them in continental football for next term.

Kotoko have been linked with a move for s number of coaches but latest reports in Ghana suggest Mariano Barreto is the frontrunner for the Porcupine Warriors job.

The Ghanasoccernet reports early hours of Saturday morning that club Chief Executive Officer Nana Yaw Amponsah has submitted three coaches including Barreto to Reds’ board of directors.

Futball Surgery understands that Former Real Madrid youth coach Kiko Lopez has also been heavily linked with the Kotoko job in recent times but the Spaniard seems to overlooked.

The Board have reportedly opted to appoint Barreto who would be no new in Ghana football after managing the Black Stars between 2003-2004 but failed to win any silverware with West African side.

Barreto stunned Ghanaians with his decision to quit Black Stars job seven months into the job just when he was guiding Ghana to their first ever qualification to the World Cup back in 2004.

The Portuguese International has been without a club over two years now since departing Lithuanian outfit Stumbras in 2018. After parting company with the Black Stars, Barreto joined Portuguese side Maritimo before joining the train to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr in 2005.

In January 2009, he became an assistant coach in the Russian Premier League with FC Kuban Krasnodar. Barreto was officially registered as head coach of Kuban because Sergei Ovchinnikov, who really managed the team, did not own a UEFA Pro Licence.

In April 2014, Barreto was selected to take over the head coach of Ethiopia. He agreed to leave the position on 18 April 2015.

Having become a free man, the former Kuban Krasnodar boss was named the head coach of Stumbras in Lithuania in 2016 where he won the Football Cup title the following year, beating Zalgiris by a lone goal in final.

According to reports, Barreto will come along with his own assistant coach and physical trainer which put future of Johnson Smith who have been acting as Kotoko boss into serious doubt.

The Ghanaian International has shown his blue print on the Kotoko squad with the Ghana Premier League outfit playing some decent piece of niece football under Smith.

However, lacking the standard certificate to coach at Ghana’s top flight football has eventually become an impediment to Smith reaching high height in his coaching career.

The former Karela United coach needs Caf License A to coach at the ‘head coach role’ but he currently holds Caf License B which is reportedly one of the reasons Kotoko are overlooking him to bring in Barreto as substantive head coach.

At the beginning of this season, Smith share thought on his inadequacy meeting the standard to coach at in Ghana and African top flight.

“If you know your job as a coach you know. It’s not about having License A or otherwise. Having License A is just a requirement to coach in the Premier League or Division One League”.

For the job, I am capable and know what I’m. It’s only that I need the ‘A’ to lead the technical lines” Smith told reporters via footyghana.

Meanwhile nearly completed a come-back to Black Stars in 2015 when he received a call from the Ghana Football Association. The Portuguese expressed his delight to move to Ghana with the good times he had only what he remembered.

“If I receive a call from the Ghana Football Association, I will be in Ghana immediately”, he told Starr FM via Newsghana.

“I always remember the good times I had in coaching the Black Stars and I always felt at home in Ghana because Ghanaians are very nice people.”


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