Accra Hearts of Oak will play in the CAF Champions League if they win the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League title. With two matches to end the season, the Phobians lead the league log with 60 points from 32 matches and are three points better than their sworn rivals, Asante Kotoko. The record FA Cup holders will be crowned this season’s champions if they beat Liberty Professionals in the penultimate league game at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, July 11. Hearts of Oak will finish the season with an away game against WAFA at the Sogakope Park which will be a formality if they defeat the Scientific Soccer Lads.
However, playing in the CAF Champions League requires proper planning and massive financial and time investment in order to make an impact. The playing body, technical team and all the necessary staff must be augmented if a club wants to really travel far in the continental showpiece. Egypt giant, Al Ahly are the record winners of the CAF Champions League with 9 titles. They are equally the record holders of the CAF Super Cup with seven titles and one CAF Confederation Cup to their credit. The fact that they have just a single CAF Confederation Cup and 9 Champions League titles goes to state the fact that, they have made enough investments and as well focused on the main continental competition, the CAF Champions League. They recently appointed South African tactical brain and former coach of Mamelodi Sundwons, Pitso Mosimane who led them to finish 3rd in the FIFA Club World Cup last season. Managing to acquire the service of a coach of Mosimane’s caliber is not a cheap investment.
For a club like Accra Hearts of Oak, they are not new to the continental terrain as they successfully graced the two competitions, the CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup in 2000 and 2004 respectively. They equally reigned supreme in 2001 when they claimed the CAF Super Cup at the expense of Egypt giant, Zamalek. They are a whisker away from winning the Ghana Premier League with two games to end the season. The Phobians have a quality squad that could compete favourably in Africa but a club will need strengthening of their squad as the competitions increase with league and FA Cup games. Hearts of Oak are into the quarter finals of the FA Cup and it could mean a double this season. A double will afford them the opportunity for both CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup and they need quality numbers to compete.
One player who has been instrumental for his club in this season’s Ghana Premier League is Great Olympics captain, Gladson Awako. The 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup winner has scored 5 goals, provided 6 assists with 4 Most Valuable Player in the local league to his credit. Awako once played for top Congolese club, TP Mazembe who are a force to reckon with in the CAF Champions League. He has been on the roaster of another Congolese club, Don Bosco before playing in the United States with Phoenix Risings. The 30-year-old attacking midfielder was key when Berekum Chelsea played in the CAF Champions League in the 2010/11 season. With his rich curriculum vitae in Africa football, he will be a perfect fit in Hearts of Oak’s midfield and the team in general if they sign him for Africa should they win the league or the FA Cup and partake in the CAF Champions League or the Confederation Cup. What is left is whether the Phobians will be able to meet his financial demands if he agrees to join them.