Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s preparation for Sunday’s week seven Ghana Premier League (GPL) clash with Liberty Professionals has been plunged into comedy as management and playing body of the club engage in ‘hide-and-seek’ with embattled coach, David Duncan, just a day after being asked to step aside.
In a bid to defy management orders to stay away from the team with immediate effect, Duncan reported at the Ajako Jachie training grounds of the Porcupine Warriors in the early hours of yesterday to conduct his normal duties with the team.
He, however, perhaps, received the biggest shock of his life –maybe bigger than when Great Olympics supporters turned their backs on him under similar circumstances – with the knowledge that the team was training at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium under the tutelage of his assistant, Michael Osei.
Finding it difficult to believe, Duncan erected and put in place some of the club’s training kits, expecting to take the players through their paces, coming fresh from their week six defeat to Aduana on Sunday.
The plain-speaking Duncan was asked to step aside with immediate effect via a management communication signed by Communications Manager of the club, Kweku Ahenkorah on Monday following an unimpressive showing by the Asanteman warriors who currently occupy the bottom of the table.
In his absence, Michael Osei was to be in charge as interim head coach.
These developments were known to Duncan but what he did not anticipate was the hidden agenda to move the team to a different venue, leaving him with no choice but wait for a while and finally leave the training field.
Information gathered by the Times Sports late yesterday indicated that the Porcupine Warriors returned to their usual Adako Jachie training grounds but with austerity measures to ensure Duncan is prevented from having access to the team.
Sources in Kumasi hinted this paper that management of the club replaced the padlocks at the Adako Jachie training grounds since Duncan has keys to the old locks.
“Players and Coach Michael Osei entered the training facility at exactly 3.30pm and was locked. The move is to prevent Duncan from getting access to the venue,” the source disclosed.
But this could mark the beginning of another legal tussle involving Duncan who has made it clear that his deal with Kotoko did not spell out any clause to step aside to be triggered by management when the going gets tough.
Definitely in his second season of his three-year deal, Duncan would force for his pound of flesh just like the manner he did with Hearts of Oak when he was given the sack under similar circumstances.
The recent development in the team appears to have taken a toll on the players.
That may be the reason why General Manager of the club held a closed door meeting with members of the playing body and technical team at the Crystal Rose Ambassador Hotel yesterday.
Though details of the said meeting was not made available as of press time, it is believed to have addressed the players on recent management decisions and the need to improve their game to get the club out of the turbulence.
By Andrew Nortey