The Vice Chancellor (V-C) of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, has expressed optimism that his darling club, Accra Hearts of Oak, will bounce back stronger after the completion of the Pobiman Academy project.

According to the V-C who was one-time a director of the club, the lack of a proper football pitch for the team had been a contributory factor to the dwindling fortunes of the Continental Club Masters in recent times.

The die-hard Phobia fan recalled his days when management planned to build a similar facility but that could not see the light of day, “because I resigned at some point for personal reasons. I regretted later for leaving my position at Hearts, and that taught me never to give up on anything I do. Perhaps, if I had stayed there to help build the team, it may have been a different story today.”

“But this project is really good for the team, and I believe a lot of good things will come out that will go a long way to help us when it is done”, he recounterd during an interview with the Daily Graphic.

Pobiman Academy project

The Pobiman project, which began in July, is expected to be completed within six months, with K.A. Estate Limited, a local construction firm, being contracted by Hearts to build the ground structure, while the main edifice will be constructed by Turkish firm, Prefabex Modular Building Solutions.

When completed, the complex will comprise a staff residence, senior housing unit, gym, training centres (pitches), laundry, swimming pool, lockers, toilet facilities, kitchen and dining hall.

Making football attractive

The former Secondi Hassacas player said apart from the clubs, including Hearts, the country lacks proper football pitches, and that is not good for the development of the game.

“Football all over the world is changing, and good pitches is one of the determinants of the success of clubs and national teams. You don’t expect players to play on rough pitches to compete favourably with those who are getting good pitches,” he said.   

Prof Owusu, a former coach, also raised concerns about the lack of player motivation, emphasising that if players were not motivated, they could not give  their best in the game.

He paid glowing tributes to former Hearts of Oak coach, the late Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, describing him as a master tactician and great motivator who always encouraged his players on and off the field of play.

“Football is a mind game, and this is where Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio was good at. He always motivated players to play well, and that was why you were seeing Hearts doing great those days. For me, I do not believe in juju in football as some claim because I know what football entails,” he stated.

To make football attractive, he added that there was the need to break the cycle of the national teams over relying on foreign-based players, saying that there was the need for proper blend between local and international players.

“This is my advice to Coach C.K. Akunnor of the Black Stars that he should not rely solely on foreign-based players; a blend of both the locals and international, together with the right motivation, Ghana can lift the Africa cup,” he said.

Source: Graphic Online


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