Peter Sarbah Writes; Hearts, Kotoko Jobs Too Hot For Coaches

When Samuel Paa Kwesi Fabin signed a season-long contract with Kumasi Asante Kotoko last Sunday, he became the 24th manager to occupy the hot seat of the Porcupine Warriors, arguably the most unstable job in Ghana football.

In the high-risk world of coaching, the Kotoko job remain one of the most attractive and yet one of the most unstable with the club having one of the highest turnover of coaches in the last 15 years because of the pressure for success and high demand to satisfy impatient management and supporters.

Similarly, rival cub Accra Hearts of Oak, who achieved success under the late Cecil Jones Attuquayefio in the late 1990s and ealry 2000, are also experiencing a high turnover of coaches, having gone on the market about 22 times shopping for coaches in the last 15 years with Henry Wellington as the club’s 23rd coach for the hot job since Scotsman Frank Nuttall was given the sack last week.

Out of the 24 managers who have sat in the Porcupine Warriors’ dug out, nine are expatriates who have been fired for poor performance.

Scotsman Ian Porterfield led the list of foreign gaffers to be axed just five months into his engagement in September 2002 during the reign of Herbert Mensah as Kotoko’s chairman, after which German Ralf Zumdick succeeded him for just three months until December 2002.

Kotoko legend Abdul Razak spent two seasons (2002-2004) on the hot seat and gave way to Croatian Hans Kodric, then German Hans-Dieter Schmidt, Abdul Karim Zito, Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie, in that order.

In 2007, Bashir Hayford was appointed as replacement for Turkish trainer, Telat Uzum, followed by Belgian Maurice Cooreman as his successor. Kotoko subsequently introduced young coach and onetime Graphic Sports columnist Isaac ‘Opeele’ Boateng who was replaced months later by the respected late Herbert Addo in 2009.

In 2010, Coach Fabin was drafted in to stabilise the club but he later gave way to Johnson Smith, with club legend Ebo Mends, Bogdan Korak, Maxwell Konadu, Mas-ud Didi Dramani, David Duncan, Michael Osei, Zdravco Lugarusic, Frimpong Manso and Steve Polack following in that order.

There are similar statistics from Hearts within the same period which saw Siegfried ‘Sanzio’ Bahner taking over following the demise of Offei Ansah. Experienced Francis Oti Akenteng later stepped in but he also gave way to Bulgarian Mitko Dobrev to be followed by Abdul Karim Zito.

Israeli coach Eyal Lachman entered the fray only to be replaced by Serb’s Kosta Papic but fans’ agitation against him saw Nii Noi Thompson take over the Rainbow club. El Yamani stepped in afterwards, then came Yusif Abubarkar before Paa Kwesi Fabin took over.

Tanko Shaibu had a short stint after which came Nebojsa Vucecevic, then C. K Akunnor, David Duncan, Mohammed Polo, Herbert Addo, Eddie Ansah, Kenechi Yatsuhashi, Sergio Traguil, Yaw Preko and Frank Nuttall.

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