Asante Kotoko will revive their rivalry with their Ashanti regional counterparts as they come face to face in Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG Cup) on Sunday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi.
The invitational Cup sponsored by State Insurance Company (SIC) is in honour of H.P Nyametei who was the first Ghanaian to be appointed as the CEO of the institution and also a former Hearts of Oak cum GFA chairman.
Asante Kotoko who are the most successful club in the history of the Cup competition which started in 1972, with 13 titles are expected to play their hearts out to avenge the Otumfuo Cup defeat they suffered in the hands of Ashanti Gold, who have won the SWAG Cup on 3 occasions.
Coach David Duncan has made a lot of changes in the Porcupine Warriors team by putting players such as Richard Mpong, Smallboy Korbah, Jordan Opoku, Prince Baffoe, etc on transfer, while about 7 new players have been recruited to augment the squad including Samuel Sekyere, Ernest Sowah, Edwin Frimpong, Bennett Ofori, etc.
Also another big absentee in the Kotoko setup is Abeiku Ainooson, who recently joined Sudanese side Al Hilal on a season long loan.
The Miners have a core of their team intact, but they will be missing the services of their skipper in the last season league, Lawrence Lartey, who is now plying his trade in South Africa and their attacking minded midfielder Didier Kore.
Coach Bashiru Hayford’s charges will have the edge over their opponent in midfield as they are likely to parade the likes of Eric Opoku, who was last season’s Ghana Premier League best player, Kadiru Mohammed, Osei Baffour when they battle with Jackson Owusu, Kwadwo Poku, Benedict Ofori, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, who will be in the Kotoko midfield.
However Kotoko attacking trio of Obed Owusu, Dauda Mmohammed and Ahmed Toure will torment the Ashgold denfence.
The supporters of Kotoko over the week cautioned their idol club to pull out of the SWAG Cup due to inadequate preparation to avoid an embarrassing defeat, but later rescinded their decision and are now backing their team to victory.