Former continental club champions, Accra Hearts of Oak, will tomorrow venture into yet another journey for continental club honours as they welcome AS Police from Benin in the first leg of their preliminary round CAF Confederation Cup match at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Hearts, who won the competition 10 years ago, could only qualify by default after Inter-Allies, who qualified as MTN FA Cup runners-up, decided not to honour the competition due to financial constraints.
Even though many of the Hearts followers are hopeful the club will surmount the AS Police hurdle tomorrow, the recent run in the domestic First Capital Plus Premier League has been a cause for concern and seems to be dashing the hopes of many of their vociferous supporters.
Currently perched at the 12th position on the league table with eight points, Hearts, who once ruled the African continent, will be riding on their ‘Never Say Die’ mantra as the Beninois could be in for a match of their lives.
It is on this basis that a director of the club, Frank Nelson Nwokolo, has called on Phobian fans to troop to the stadium in their numbers tomorrow to support the club to win convincingly. He also asked the playing body to die a little for the club in its quest to rewrite its name in continental club football.
According to Mr Nwokolo, the club has what it takes to climb up the league log, as well as excel in the Confederation cup competition, considering the quality of its technical bench led by veteran Herbert Addo nonetheless it needs a little commitment on the part of the playing body to make it happen.
Expectations of a home win will put a lot of pressure on the likes of Philip Boampong, Robin Gnagne, Shaun October, Lawrence Tawiah, Paul Acquah, Richard Yamoah, Selassi Adjei, Gilbert Fiamenyo and others who will be wearing the rainbow colours to fight tooth and nail to collect all the three points.
While the Phobians map up a strategy to outdo their opponents, AS Police who play in the 14-club Beninois league at the Stade Contonou II, are expected to arrive in Accra today for the battle.
Source: Daily Graphic