On July 11, Hearts of Oak confirmed their status as new Premier League champions following a draw with Liberty Professionals in a match week arch rivals, Asante Kotoko lost to Bechem United. After their league triumph, the Phobians seem set to end their 12 year trophy drought with the double, following their qualification to the quarter-final of the MTN FA Cup.
The principal brain in the dug-outs, Samuel Boadu, was picked by the Hearts hierarchy from Medeama, midpoint through the season – a period in time where the Phobians looked ready to suffer their worst Ghana Premier League season. Despite the odds, the 35-yea- old did more than he was probably required to do, providing that elusive league title.
His achievement and the performance of Hearts of Oak earned him and the club ‘Coach and Club of the Year’ at this year’s Ghana Football Awards, cementing his legacy into Ghana Premier League folklore. Coincidentally however, there will be no doubt that the club did not expect instant success from Boadu, with Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe confirming to Joy Sports that Hearts never saw Boadu as ‘special’.
“This case [Samuel Boadu moving to Hearts] is quite an interesting case. We didn’t really see him as a special figure per se. I remember I had a talk with him and during our discussions, I was convinced that this is somebody who knows exactly what he’s about and he can work. When he left his previous club, the day we were expecting him to start work at our end, he didn’t turn up so I was worried. I called him, I couldn’t get hold of him, [so] I asked someone to, and he [Boadu] assured me that he will be in at a particular time which he came. I think by then he was moving his items from Tarkwa to Kumasi en route to Accra,” Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe told Joy Sports.
Boadu in his first days of his new job left an instant mark on Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe who indicated he fell in love with the work attitude of a manager, who looked very confident and in control of his work environment.
However, the short time spent with Boadu has not been without media speculation, with some local outlets reporting cases of intrusion by the club’s top hierarchy, into the work of Boadu. Dr. Nyaho vehemently denied the allegations, revealing that the board and Boadu share a fruitful work relationship.
“When he came, what I noticed was that this is a disciplined guy who knows exactly what he’s about. So we gave him that chance and opportunity and he’s proven himself right. He listens. Prior to this, there have been a whole lot of accusations that directors have been dictating – it’s all lies, no director has enforced [at least not me]. If people say so it’s a lie. Directors don’t dictate to the technical team. They might suggest, if you like you take it, if you don’t like, you don’t,” he indicated.
Its been a tough season for @HeartsOfOakGH without a doubt.
The Board had to take tough decisions including appointing Manager Samuel Boadu who eventually delivered the GPL title
I’ve been speaking to Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe who was at the heart of Operations
— George Addo Jnr (@addojunr) July 13, 2021
After a torrid 12 years, the league triumph and performance in the FA Cup will bring back the smiles on the faces of fans and sympathizers of Ghana’s oldest club. After a long period of enduring hardships and lackluster seasons, the 2020/21 season seems to have reintroduced Hearts with its glory days.
The league title and a possible FA Cup will not be the only things Hearts of Oak fans will be celebrating this year, however. Dr. Nyaho revealed to Joy Sports that the club are making good progress with a host of off-the-field developments – an ultra-modern academy, and secretariat top of the cards.
“I thank God very much, we have a lot of projects that will come out and shock the football world particularly, in Ghana and West Africa. We are building a new institution, an academy with four playing fields – three with natural grass and the other an astro turf. We are building a place where they boys will live like you have in any boarding institution. We are going to have a place for those who like to come and hire to come and stay when they come and play in Ghana.
“We have a huge tennis court, a huge swimming pool, all these things are in the pipeline as we talk. Work is ongoing, and very soon our secretariat in Accra will be brought down, and [we] will build a brand new four-storey glass house. Indeed we want to finish all these things before the end of the year, because all the paper work has been done already.
We are going to have a special commercial house also within the vicinity of our secretariat. There’s a lot being done,” Dr. Nyaho confirmed to Joy Sports.