Accra Hearts of Oak yesterday presented the two trophies the team won during the course of the football season to Nii Ayibonte II, Gbese Mantse at his Palace in Ga Mashie.
The trophies were the President Cup which they won against their rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko and the FA Cup which they defeated Bechem United at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium recently to win.
Accompanied by some of the players, technical team, supporters and management members, the leader of the entourage, Vincent Odotei Sowah, a Board Member of the team said the visit was to honour the distinguished leadership of Nii Gbese during his reign as Chairman of the club in early 2000.
He said Nii Gbese, known in private life as Thomas Okine, did not only assisted the management team as a member to clinch the CAF Champions League Cup, the first international trophy for the team, but subsequently lead the club to clinch another two major cups, the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Champion of Champions Cup.
Nii Gbese said he was elated by the visit which was reminiscent of those active times in leadership when the supporters sang the “Glorious Hearts of Oak” anthem to him before the meeting got underway.
He said though some of them could not be seen as active frontrunners, they have actively supported the team to achieve more laurels in order for the team to grow from strength to strength both internationally and locally.
Nii Ayibonte cautioned that though they won two trophies in the season, more work needed to be done to attain the ultimate of being a fearsome team before their opponents, adding that clinching the Champion of Champions Cup would serve as the ultimate this season locally.
He called for unity amongst the playing body, the supporters, management and Board which serve as recipe for success on the field while urging the supporters to embark on a nationwide outreach programme to draw the supporters out to assist the team in cash and kind.
Nii Ayibonte said next year’s African Cup campaign success was possible but only needed hardworking and committed players to make it achievable.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI