With Kotoko’s season seemingly ending in disappointment, the Reds have made several plans to get back on track next season, and one of the areas will be to resolve their coaching problems.
At the beginning of the season, Kotoko appointed Burkina Faso International Seydou Zerbo as new head coach replacement for Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum who won the Ghana Premier League last season.
There are mixed views on Zerbo’s job at Kotoko but the Burkina tactician was fired in the course of the season in a reason of poor run of results which was true but there was improvement in certain aspects of his side.
Asante Kotoko appointed assistant coach Abdulai Gazale as interim coach but the Ghanaian International still hasn’t shown the intent of turning the tables around and why he should continue his work next season.
It’s understood the Porcupine Warriors will appoint a permanent manager at the end of the season defeating initial reports that Gazale could earn the job permanently 2023-24 term.
In the time of Seydou Zerbo’s tenure of office, a host of coaches were linked with the Kotoko coaching job and among notable ones were former Stallion of Burkina Faso manager Kamou Malo, former Black Stars boss Charles Kwablan Akonnor, former boss Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum and ex Hearts of Oak and Ghana Premier League winner Samuel Boadu.
In death of these reports, new set of rumours have arise linking a couple of coaches to the Fabulous managerial role. Former Ghana Premier League winner and CAF Confederation Cup group stage manufacturer Bashir Hayford, former Black Meteors boss Ibrahim Tanko and former Black Stars coach Akwesi Appiah are understood in contention for the Kotoko job.
For Bashir Hayford who guided the Reds to Ghana Premier League glory in 2008 and led the club to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup has already stated his readiness to lead the team again and win the African Champions League for his former side.
“I am ever ready to coach if called upon. Though I’m unattached now, I have not quit coaching, Bashir Hayford told Akoma FM last week.
“I am more mature now and my understanding of the game has grown, I am available for either Kotoko or Hearts.
“When given the opportunity to coach any of these clubs, within 3 years, I will possibly deliver a continental trophy,” Coach Bashiru Hayford said.
“I normally use my first year of appointment to assess the players, groom the team and correct some mistakes. In the second year with some little infusion of new players, we are good to go. If we don’t win the league in my second year, surely in the 3rd season it will be a done deal.
“We can possibly win a continental trophy but it will not be immediate.”
Hayford’s words can be truly measured as in his first spell at Kotoko he built a free fluid side that won the Ghana Premier League easily and enter into CAF Confederation Cup group stage.
Hayford brought out players Jordan Opoku, Mark Sekyere, Francis Akwaffo, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour and Eric Bekoe who were the household names in the Ghana Premier League and among in the CAF Confederation Cup.
To justify Bashir Hayford’s work at Kotoko, Bekoe won the CAF Confederation Cup goal-king after netting 10 goals in the competition. The forward was also listed as one of the best players in the competition in 2008.
Standing in a good position for the Kotoko coaching job next season, Bashir Hayford could be sank in the race with Akwesi Appiah emerging not only as a contender but a frontrunner, according to reports on various sources.
Asante Kotoko and Akwesi Appiah have reportedly started discussions about replacing Gazale at the end of the season with talks progressing smoothly. Kotoko are close to agreeing a deal with the former Sudan boss who could be given a 2-yead deal next term.
Akwesi Appiah has been linked with the Kotoko job for years now but a deal has never happened with the former left-back taking national appointments in wake of those moments.
There is a big question out there that “will next season be the time for Akwesi Appiah’s return to Asante Kotoko”? Now that discussions have reached advanced stage nearing his appointment as new Kotoko head coach affected by the current Board’s future, a clear opinion could be formed.
The Board have seen their 3-year working period left with only three months and there is no clear signs they will continue for the 2-time CAF Champions League champions.