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Sports News Tue, 2 Oct 2018

No coach has started and completed full season at Kotoko since Didi Dramani

Mas-Ud Didi Dramani left Asante Kotoko after Week 7 of the 2015 league season but he still remains the last manager of the club to complete a full season.

Since that vintage no other Asante Kotoko coach has started and completed a full season of football in charge of the team.

Will the former Hearts of Oak manager be able to do it?

Didi didn’t last beyond the seventh week of his third season as he was asked to proceed on leave effective February 17, 2015 following back to back premier league defeats against Hearts of Oak on February 7 (in Kumasi) and Ashantigold four days later in Obuasi.

But he is still the last Kotoko manager to start and complete a full season as head coach which he did in the season of 2013/14.

After taking over from the fourth week of the 2012/13 season to win the league title he defended it in 2013/14 with a win-draw-loose record of 17-4-9 in the 30-game season and also coached the likes of Seidu Bancey, Yahaya Mohammed, Soulama Abdoulaye, Amos Frimpong, Jordan Opoku to win the 2013/14 FA Cup beating Inter Allies 2-1 in the final to become the first ever Asante Kotoko manager to achieve the double in the same season.

David Duncan, Michael Osei, Zdravko Lugarusic, Frimpong Manso, Steven Polack and Samuel Kwesi Fabin have come as Kotoko coaches after the former Black Satellites manager but none completed a full season in charge.

Duncan, for instance, succeeded Dramani officially on Wednesday 18 March 2015 but he had traveled, in an unofficial capacity, with the team to Algeria for the Champions league 0-0 draw against MC Eulma on March 14. David Duncan would remarkably move the club out of the relegation zone to finish runners-up to league winners Ashantigold of Bahiru Hayford and reached the FA Cup final and after this great run in his first year Duncan started his first full season with the Porcupine Warriors in 2016 but didn’t go beyond the first week of April following an away defeat against Aduana Stars on April 3rd.

Assistant coach Michael Osei took over as caretaker head coach to continue from where Duncan stopped but after guiding the team to a 5th place league finish and a Quarterfinal FA Cup elimination by Bechem United he was not given the job for the 2017 season.

Croatian Lugarusic was rather hired for the 2017 campaign but surprisingly saw his contract terminated after 5 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats in his first eleven matches of the first round of season where he was second on the standings at the time of his sacking.

Succeeding the Croat was former defender Frimpong Manso who assumed the role as caretaker coach for the remaining three league matches of the first round against Aduana Stars (1-1 home), Great Olympics (2-0 loss away) and Tema Youth (0-0 home).

Manso failed to win the job due to a poor audition and British trainer Steven Polack would have to be transferred out of his Berekum Chelsea contract to bring success to the Porcupine Warriors. Kotoko lied 7th on the league standings after the first round and Polack improved that by moving them two places up at the end of the 2017 season but he lifted the FA Cup beating rivals Hearts of Oak 3-1 in Tamale on October 29 as his biggest achievement in his first half season in charge.

However after starting what was supposed to be his maiden full season of the 2018 season the curse of Kotoko’s managerial instability emerged. Inexplicably, perhaps beyond sporting reason, Polack was fired on February 23 some 48 hours after crushing out of the 2018 Confederation Cup in Congo – which the team missed three penalties against CARA Brazzaville in a first leg 1-0 win in Kumasi.

The club followed up with the immediate appointment of Samuel Kwesi Fabin just two days later offering the former Ghana Black Starlets manager a one-year contract.

Will Fabin then complete a full season at Kotoko? That will not be the case.

After an inconsistent first half the league season that saw the Fabin’s Kotoko beaten by the likes of Hearts of Oak, Karela United, Medeama and Ashantigold the team seemed to have found its magic under coach Fabin after making some changes to the playing squad but he resigned on September 13 after excellent friendly results against Simba SC (1-1 in Tanzania), Hearts of Oak (2-0 in Kumasi on August 26 and 2-0 on September 2 ) and Ashantigold (3-2 in Kumasi on September 9).

He cited unhappiness and a lack of assurance by the Kotoko management to tie him down to an improved contract and that he was aware the George Amoako-led management had contacted Yusif Abubabar, CK Akonnor and Brazilian Ricardo da Rocha for possible engagement.

Mas-Ud Didi Dramani – currently a coach at FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark – still remains at the pinnacle of recent Kotoko coaches of recent times having won 2 league titles and an FA Cup during his time in Kumasi.

Source: footballmadeinghana.com
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