At the end of 2008/2009 season, several experts of the game unanimously believed it might not take long for the Hearts-Kotoko hegemony to collapse. Half way through this season, indications are clear that this might just be the year for new kings of the Glo Premier League. The ever-burning flames from Dormaa Ahenkro, Aduana Stars might just steal the show this year.
At the end of the first half of the season, the league newbies had exceeded all expectations and had jumped ahead of the pack. Aduana Stars finished the season undefeated at home. Even though they had the weakest attack (scoring only 10 goals), they were the best defensive team, conceding only 5 goals.
All Stars, Hearts of Oak and Kessben FC are hot on their trail, but it is refreshing to witness a newly promoted club wrestle with the greats. The rise and rise of Aduana Stars is not happening by default. There is a good balance of managerial acumen, superior bench, team depth and die-hard support which is pushing the tem to the summit.
It appears that the strong leadership from Mr. Kingley Osie-Bonsu, Takyi Arhin, George Gyau and the rest of the men behind the Flames of Dormaa is a major contribution to the solid performance of the team. Setting out to finish among the Top 4, these men have walked their talk; providing the team every support they need to succeed. At the start of the season, the vowed not to lose at home this season. So far, so very good.
Aduana is well coached team which doesn’t depend on one player and is hard to break down. Noted in particular for the masterminding the glory days of Ashgold FC, there is no questioning the technical abilities of coach Herbert Addo. It is one thing knowing the rudiments of coaching and another thing knowing the secret of succeeding in the Glo Premiership. Coach Addo’s strategy of making a fortress of Agyeman Badu I Park while sharing points with other clubs on the road is a sure recipe for success.
But every coach will need good players to succeed. This is perhaps the best kept secret of Aduana – a wealth of above average and disciplined players. In post, Stephen Adam has been exceptional. The shot stopper has conceded only 5 goals out of 15 games with 11 clean sheets. On home grounds, not even a single goal had entered his net. No team has scored more than one goal against him. Outfield, Aduana Stars’ defensive setup seem impregnable. It might appear that they have deficiencies going forward, but from another perspective, one observes that they have a big stock of goal scorers. Their 10 goals so far have been scored by 7 players – Nurudeen Ali, Kwame Frimpong, Joseph doe, Samuel Asiedu, Richard Addae and Emmanuel Allan.
Many expect Aduana Stars to keep up the grip on the top of the league and go ahead to annex the cup. That would be the ideal expectation but in the history of Association Football in Ghana, there are many examples of nine-day wonder clubs. Many small clubs like Aduana pop up year-after-year with exciting half season performances only to fizzle out when it matters. They accumulate enough points to stay avoid relegation and then begin to loose to big clubs mysteriously.
To some extent no one can blame such clubs when it is hard to point out the real value of winning the Glo Premier League. Time and again the big clubs have complained about the financial difficulties involved in representing Ghana on the African content after winning the league.
So, with 15 more games to go, we wait to see if Aduana Stars is another flash in the pan.