Head coach of third tier club – Accra Athletic, Tony Lokko, says he is keen on qualifying the team to the Division One League (DOL) next season.
Lokko was handed the role last season prior to their debut campaign, and made strives by qualifying the team to the middle-league play-off after an impressive impact.
His second season has been remarkable, leading the side to end the first round with 12 wins and two draws in 14 games – a feat the outspoken gaffer attributed to his philosophy, style and development.
Speaking to the Times Sports yesterday, the former Inter Allies trainer asserted that the team was aware of the task ahead and have been working assiduously to achieve the target.
“We’re poised to play in the DOL next season. Managerially, we have the support on and off the field. We are focused, and we need to keep the pace of our momentum, game after game. I won’t boast of my qualities but from our gains in the first round, they proved to be the best in our zone and that is no fluke,” he said.
“The target is to qualify the club and we know it requires collective effort and hard work to meet our goal; so we go into every game with the winning approach which will be replicated in our subsequent games.”
Speaking on the quality of his charges, the sweat merchant said he has worked on the boys for some time, adding that he believes some will be handed call-ups to the Black Satellites (national U-20 team).
“I believe some of my players will be called per the quality I have seen and groomed for over a-year-and-a-half. They are called in batches, and I’m very optimistic the deserving ones will get their turn.”
Quizzed on his side’s chances and if any of the 14 other clubs posed any threat, the former Tema Youth manager said: “At the moment, we occupy the top spot with 11 points ahead of the second-placed which shows that our zone is quite difficult. We will continue to maintain the lead until the end of the season; but then all the clubs are favourites for the DOL.”
Coach Lokko was named the Greater Accra Second Division Coach of the month of January in the maiden edition, beating off competition from four others after winning all four games to amass 12 points; scoring seven goals and conceding two.
He said: “I know my capabilities, so I was not surprised when I won the maiden edition in January. It channels down to your work rate and performance.”
Coach Lokko joined Accra Athletic in the 2021-2022 season after ending his year stint with Inter Allies FC, where he led the side to play in the middle-league play-off, after emerging champions in Zone 1.
Accra Athletic is yet to record a single defeat after 15 games, having drawn in two matches to Take Heart and Royal Anderlecht in the first round.
They began the second round on a brilliant note with a hard-fought 1-0 win over relegation-threatened side, Ashaiman Revelation, last weekend, and will take on Ada City in their next game at the Bedeku Park on Sunday, April 16.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY