Football clubs have shown a trend in their managerial appointments in recent times, with several members of top clubs around the world currently coached by former players.
Fans become quickly excited at the prospect of a former hero returning to guide the club forward, and the romantic narrative was most recently prominent with Chelsea and Real Madrid’s recent appointments of Frank Lampard and Zinedine Zidane respectively.
Here’s a look at some individuals who once played for Kotoko and later came back to serve the team both at the senior or youth level.
Ebo Mends was a successful player during his days as a player for Kotoko. He was an integral part of the Kotoko side that won their second CAF Champions League title in 1983. He spent five seasons with the Reds before leaving Ghana for his coaching course abroad.
Ebo’s first stint as coach of Kotoko was back in 1999 which lasted for 14 games when he was dismissed after a league defeat to Hearts of Oak in Kumasi.
In 2010, he was reappointed as head coach of the club under Dr K.K Sarpong as the first coach under his watch.
Mends, making his second stint with Kotoko, interestingly, did not travel past the halfway mile with the Porcupines.
A successful defender during his play days with the Porcupines. He was a part of the 1983 Asante Kotoko CAF Champions League squad that beat Al Ahly to the title.
Appau spent most of his coaching career at the Kotoko youth team. He got the nod to handle the first team on an interim basis in 2017 after Kotoko team bus had an accident on their return from Accra which hospitalised then head coach Steve Pollack.- Advertisement –
Appau was shown the exit door as youth team coach in April 2019.
The Asante Kotoko legend won the club their first-ever CAF Champions League trophy in 1970 and was the Team Manager when they won it again in 1983.- Advertisement –
Jabir won several laurels with the team and later returned as a coach between 2005 to 2006 before a brief spell with Burkina Faso side ASFA Yennenga in 2007.
Karim Abdul Razak
‘Golden Boy’ Abdul Razak had three separate spells with Asante Kotoko during his play days. He won three Ghana premier league titles with the club in 1981, 1986 and 1987.
He first joined Kotoko in 1975 and spent four seasons in which he was crowned African Footballer of the Year award in 1978 before moving to New York Cosmos in the United States.
Razak would return to Kotoko after two years and spent a year with the Reds before joining Al Ain in the UAE. His third stint came in 1986 where he spent five seasons and later joined Africa Sports of Abidjan where he retired after two years.
In 2003, he was appointed the coach of Kotoko and helped the club win their first league title in ten years. He discharged of his post after the 2003–04 league season and returned to Stade Malien where he had previously coached.
Renowned for his penalty-taking abilities and his passing, Ablodey was a successful captain for the Reds in the 2000s.
He was the assistant coach of Zdravko Lugarusic, but after the sack of the latter, he was asked to take over the club as an interim gaffer.
He prepared them for the league before Frimpong Manso was named to assist him. The duo worked for hand in hand, but it was Manso who eventually assumed the role as the head coach until his sack.
Ablodey was made the Team Manager of the club until he was reassigned as Technical Director for the Youth Team until his sack in 2019.
Stephen Frimpong Manso
Another former captain of Asante Kotoko who was named as a stop-gap coach to help the team rediscover their form after the exit of Zdravko Lugarusic in 2017, but he failed to bring the club back to winning ways and after some few games in charge he was axed.
Manso played for Kotoko between 1988-1995 as a defender after leading Cornerstones to clinch the 1987/1988 WAFU Cup and won many laurels for the Porcupines during his days.
He is currently the head coach of lower-tier side Nkoranza Warriors.
Michael Osei was signed from Okwahu United in 1989 and spent four years with the Reds before moving to German side Vorwärts Steyr in 1993.
The former midfielder who was the assistant coach of both Didi Dramani and David Duncan was elevated to the head coach role of the club in the middle of the 2015-16 season to replace Duncan. He held the fort and helped the Porcupines place 5th on the league log.
However, he was not confirmed by the new management of Kotoko headed by Dr Kwame Kyei and in the end they parted ways with him in 2017.
Karim Abdul Zito
Zito joined Asante Kotoko from Juantex FC in 1978 and spent nine seasons with the club in which he won 5 league titles, 2 FA Cups and one CAF Champions League in 1983.
He was nicknamed ‘Soccer Police’ by ace commentator Kwabena Yeboah during a game for Kotoko in Kumasi against Semasi Club of Togo.
He has had a stint with the Kotoko youth side and left the club in 2014.
Appiah, a left-back, played for Asante Kotoko between 1983 and 1993.
He began his coaching career at Asante Kotoko as an assistant coach from 1993-1995 before taking over as head coach between 1995-1996.
Kwesi won 3 domestic trophies as head coach for the team and finished second on the league log in the 1995-1996 season.
Maxwell began his professional career with Asante Kotoko from 1991 to 1993, with whom he won the Ghana Premier League in his debut season.
After brief spells playing in Tunisia and Germany, Maxwell returned to Asante Kotoko in 1996, before moving to U.D. Leiria of the Portuguese second division in 1997.
Maxwell Konadu replaced Serbian boss Bogdan Korak following his sack in 2011 from Wa All-Stars. He brought stability to the Porcupines and won the first of the three consecutive league titles the Kumasi giants secured from the 2011-12- 2013-14 season.
However, he left after he was named the assistant coach of the Black Stars under James Kwesi Appiah in 2012.
Maxwell after his stints with the national team specifically Black Stars B, accepted to make a second coming to the club in December 2019 after the exit of Kjetil Zachariassen and is currently the head coach of the club.
Raphael Akakpo Patron
Akakpo Patron joined Asante Kotoko in 1991 from Prampram Mighty Royals and spent five seasons with the Porcupines as a striker before leaving to Tema Ghapoha.
Akakpo after a successful career returned to Kotoko in 2017 as a replacement for Godwin Ablodey who was serving as an assistant to Steve Polack.
He has served as an assistant to Paa Kwesi Fabin, CK Akonnor and currently Maxwell Konadu.
Culled from myfabulousonline.com