Kumasi Asante Kotoko head Coach Prosper Narteh Ogum has disclose that he felt very respected by the way Kumasi Asante kotoko approached him to be their coach. Speaking in an interview with the veteran journalist Sometymer Otuo Acheampong on Oyerepa FM’s Today Sports, the tactical brain of Kumasi Asante Kotoko reveled “I was a sports prefect at Dormaa Senior High and played for Aduana Stars. My dream was to be a professional footballer but my mother didn’t support that idea so had to focus on my Education. I was nicknamed Van Basten in my play days.” He continued, “I once told my students that one day I will Coach Asante Kotoko. I even went further to sit on the Coach’s seat and asked my students to take a picture of me on the seat.”
He went on to describe the love he has for the great club “I had gone on a similar tour at Hearts of Oak but even there, i stated categorically that i will coach Kotoko one day. I love the club and how they do their stuff. When they’re happy it is to the extreme and when they’re angry it’s also to the extreme.”
When asked about his coaching philosophy, he replied “My coaching philosophy is possession with purpose. I like my teams to keep possession and make good use of the possession, but sometimes you can do all the right things and won’t get the desired results.”
On when he decided to Join KOTOKO “I remember my supervisor at WAFA, calling me to his office and he told me Kotoko has shown interest in me. He added that though he has seen my dedication to their project but to him it was time to take the opportunity. He told me that a number will call me and he gave me that number, not knowing that number had called me previously and I realized it was Emmanuel Dasoberi. They made it known to me that they want a WAFA-like system and they will defend it at the Board level.”
“I was very happy a night before my first official game (Against Dreams) because I could have never told anyone that I Coached Kotoko without playing an official game after the preseason in Dubai.” Said Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum.
Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum also took the opportunity to clear the air about whether he is difficult and controversial. On that he said, “I am not a difficult person neither am I controversial, however, I expect that every suggestion or inclusion be made based on logical reasons. Coaches are supposed to be fair so that players will see you as a father and a friend so they will fight for you always.” He also clarified the air about his relationship with the media. “My relationship with the media has been good because I don’t pay too much attention to the media but my work and that’s what elite Coaches like Pep Guadiola does, because as soon as I pay much attention I might not have much time for the job. I need to be 100% focused on the job”
On his most difficult game of the season; “The most difficult game this season was against Ashanti Gold at Obuasi, we could have conceded five goals in the first half. I believe as Coaches sometimes, we have to be honest, we lost our shape and we were lucky we found our shape back in the second half.” Again he described how he deal with players who are under pressure during games “Once a player is tensed on the field, his movements and decision making becomes distorted. So I keep telling my boys to be single minded in games to avoid the mistakes.”
When asked about his thoughts about Ashanti Gold’s talisman Yaw Annor, he said “He is a fantastic player, one that you will love to have but I haven’t discussed anything about him with the management.”
“The media in Kumasi have been so supportive even though I don’t pay attention. Sometimes my friends can’t handle what they hear about me on Radio and they are forced to call me but as soon as I hear it, I just laugh it off.”
On the new players coming from lower devisions; “The first thing was to have confidence in them, fairness and also to have the right training program. But it’s important that they have self-confidence and discipline to listen to what I want to teach them and I think these things did the trick.”
On Recruitment “I haven’t submitted any names to the management yet.”
On keeping Mbella “For now we will keep him because he’s our player. If you check the likes of Ahly, you can clearly tell that you need his quality to compete but then, you should also consider the finances of the club. So if they want us to keep him then they must come to the stadium. “Keeping Mbella, Mfegue and Coach prosper all boils down to money and that’s why we are entreating our supporters to roll onto the Fabu Census project” David Obeng Nyarko added.
On Africa Champions League “We have to beef up the team to be in good position to compete with them because I see the difference between them and us being Character. So I have identified some players which we believe can help.”
On most tactically discipline side he meet in the season. “Tactically, the most difficult side was Accra Lions, considering their numerous rotation in midfield, the only thing they were lacking was that, they weren’t purposeful upfront.”
On playing the champions league in Kumasi: “We are pleading on the Government and the NSA to help get the Baba Yara Stadium in shape for our Africa Campaign because of its Economic impact on the people of Kumasi is endless.” Said David Obeng Nyarko.
On how he encourages players who are heavily criticized “Sometimes when I am hinted on that I engage that player on one-on-one conversation and encourage them to keep a blind eye to the negative criticism. Those that I visit on health grounds, i buy them hampers.” Said Coach Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum.
On the player who has exceeded his expectations. “I salute Imoro Ibrahim, he is a wonderful player.”
On the Coronation match: “Sunday is going to be one of the best moments in the history of Asante Kotoko because it’s been a while since we won the league so i will plead with supporters to be present and cheer the team on at the Stadium.”
Appreciation: Finally Obenfo expressed his gratitude and appreciation to His Royal Majesty Otumfour Osei Tutu II for giving him the opportunity to manage one of his greatest Assets, Krobea Kumasi Asante Kotoko. He also thanked the board and management for their trust in him. Again he thanked the players and his supporting coaching and medical team, the hardworking players and the loyal supporters of the great club.
(Story by Felix Yeboah)