‘Totti’, as he’s popularly called played Asante Kotoko for eleven years, starting as a young player under coach Bogdan Korak when he was scouted during Inter Schools and Colleges competition in Kumasi.
In an interview with Don Summer on Angel sports, he revealed that the only way for Asante Kotoko to be successful again is to invest much in the club’s academy system.
“I’m not saying Asante Kotoko shouldn’t sign good players from other clubs. But players can’t make their mark at the club because they’re not nurtured with the club’s spirit, therefore they play without the team’s spirit in them.
As young players who passed through the academy, I learnt a lot from the senior players then. Also, we were allowed to be ball boys during Kotoko’s games at Baba Yara so dealing with the crowd and the noise they make was already in our system, which always motivated us in games.” Akwaffo said.
He used Stephen Manu’s (9090) case as example. “Could you believe that Stephen Manu, as big as he is shouted, became terrified and broke into tears when he saw our massive crowd at the time our team bus was approaching stadium. The match was against Hearts of Oak, which ended in 3-3 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi” Francis Akwaffo revealed.
He added that if Stephen Manu had passed through the academy and was used to the supporters, he didn’t believe such thing could have happened to him.
Francis Akwaffo ended that Asante Kotoko is indeed a spirit. Therefore, management should find a way of initiating this spirit into the players, and the best way to go is to develop players from the team’s academy.
By: Vincent Owusu Twitter: @bonty999