Asante Kotoko Chief Executive Officer Nana Yaw Amponsah, has rejected claims that his outfit may struggle to achieve its target this season following the exit of several key players.
After Kotoko finished as runners-up to rivals Hearts of Oak last season as well as reaching only the round of 16 in FA Cup, 12 players including captain Felix Annan and assistant captain Emmanuel Gyamfi left the club for various reasons.
Others including Augustine Okrah, Habib Mohammed, Wahab Adams and Naby Keita also moved out while sixteen players were signed to fill the void created.
Four new players started the opening day game against Dreams FC while the three substitutions made -Richard Boadu, Isaac Oppong and Dickson Afoakwa- were all new arrivals.
However, the CEO believes the core of the team is still intact and the decision to offload some of the players won’t affect the club’s progress despite now scrapping for an improved finish under new coach Prosper Narteh Ogum who took over from Portuguese manager Mariano Baretto.
“We believe very much in this team,” Amponsah said in an interview on Ceek.
“For instance, if you look at the old players – those who were there before this season – about 15 of them were all active in the first eleven during last season so it is not as if it’s a completely new team.
“The core of the last season’s team is there and we have introduced it with some qualities as well so we believe that the league is a marathon. We’ve just played one game out of the 34 so there are 33 more matches to go.
“But we are all excited about the fact that we are going back to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. Unfortunately, we have only 25 per cent at the moment but we need to prove to the government that we are capable of maintaining sanity and discipline at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium,” he added.
Kotoko opened their season’s account with a 3-1 victory over Dreams FC last weekend. They will play their first home game at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday for the first time in almost two years.