FEATURE: Welcome, Kotoku and co.

I thought Liberty Professionals were returning to the Ghana Premier League (GPL) a season after being relegated.

Their comeback looked likely when they overpowered Tema Youth in one of the last few matches to end of the keen competition in Zone One of the Division One League (DOL).

Liberty’s joy at the top of the table was however short lived as Kotoku Royals won a protest, upstaging the Dansoman lads to make a bold claim to the single spot-entry to our elite football division. I didn’t think Susubiribi SC would give Liberty a tough test but even if they did, nothing was to halt Kotoku’s flight to the GPL.

Eastern Region would now have representation in the GPL decades after Okwawu United, Dawu Youngsters, Kwaebibriem United, Power FC and Kade Hotspurs respectively entered and exited the GPL. I’m happy for Kotoku partly because I’m from the Eastern Region. Folks in the east lands would’ve now have a bite of the GPL and everything it offers.

Following their Twitter account, I’ve liked how Kotoku conduct themselves. They’ve got a professional outlook from my distant view. My expectation is, their presence would consolidate the professionalism we want to build. It’s the same for FC Samartex 1996, who from Zone Two, has made it to the GPL for the first time in 26 years.

I’ve admired Samartex 1996. It’s professionally run, it seems, based on my Twitter observations. One of the men who tendered in my cub years at Kotoko Express, Edmund Ackah, a former Asante Kotoko Accra Rep, is their General Manager. Ackah has a groundswell of experience in club football management, having moved from Kotoko to Medeama and Nzema Kotoko previously.

I can tell his hard work and that of his team members ensured Samartex’s qualification. It’s expected they would contribute to enhancing not just the GPL’s image but the level competition and professionalism. My prediction that Tamale City would complete the list of three teams from the DOL to the GPL failed as Nsoatreman FC edged them out in their Zone 3 Accra playoff.

I wished for another Tamale aside joining RTU rather than having a Bono/Ahafo side. The GPL already has formidable teams from the middle belt of the country. It’s just a wish, nothing more than that, but having one more northern based club would’ve made regional representation in the GPL fairer. Football isn’t even fair always so that’s alright.

Congratulations to all the three sides for their sterling shows that guaranteed their qualification. Please, come and reinforce the quest for professionalism. Don’t come to the GPL and take away any gains made. I end by applauding the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for announcing dates for the start of next season.

I don’t recall when last the GFA, either the current or past administration, published a new season’s opening date before the closure of an existing season. This is what we want to see as part of a professional competition’s management system. I hope nothing impedes the FA’s programme.

Source: Jerome Otchere.

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