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Interview with Joachim Yaw Acheampong

18 October 2009

Former Ghanaian International, Joachim Yaw Acheampong began his work as the assistant coach to Paa Kwesi Fabin last week.

 

David Kyei of Kotoko Express caught up with him in camp as he readied himself for Kotoko’s first match of the 2009/10 Glo premier division season, and he spoke about his reasons of coming to Kotoko, his hopes and targets as an up and coming coach.

 

You are welcome to Asante Kotoko Fc. It is a well known fact that coaching a prestigious club as Kotoko is the dream job of every Ghanaian and most non-Ghanaian coaches. Did you ever think of your self being at Kotoko this soon?

 

As you rightly said, it is the greatest desire of every Ghanaian coach and even players on the local scene to be at Kotoko and so I am happy and highly motivated to have the opportunity to be at the dream destination. It is a great privilege that I am grabbing with both hands.

As to it being soon or not, I will say that whatever it is, I am happy with the opportunity given and I will work hard to justify the confidence reposed in me.

 

“Every Ghanaian player would love to play at Kotoko” as you said, but you never did. Did you ever have that ambition, and what happened to that ambition if you did?

 

Though I had that wish, I never had the opportunity to because unlike this era where players have managers who work to ensure that the clients had clubs of their dreams to play, my era did not and so getting to play for a club was a pure individual effort. You only got to play for clubs such as Kotoko only when your performance caught the eye of a big man in the team, who will then put in a word for the team to come for you.

Unfortunately, despite my good performance and the fact that I played regularly for the Black Stars, I did not get that attention. Playing for Kotoko was a wish of my late father who was an ardent supporter so I am happy that despite that I could not get the chance to play at Kotoko, I know have the opportunity to work with the club and I hope that will make him happy wherever he is now.

 

You are barely a week on the job and having seen Kotoko from afar and now as an insider; does something surprise you, especially with the materials available for use and infrastructure?

 

Though I started working not so soon, I had the opportunity to observe from the fringes for more than a week. Nothing surprises me because as a professional, my duty is to look at materials available and make the best use of them to achieve results so.

Looking at players in the team now, it is clear that Kotoko has the best of players on the local scene and so I would be working with my boss to bring the best out of them to conquer.

 

Isn’t the point of having all the best players in the country going to bring pressure to bear on you, because fans will be on the technical team to deliver since you have the best of materials available?

 

Yes we have the best of players in the country and so one will think that raising a team will even be a difficult task for us, however, everything will depend on the players who will either make our work easy or difficult.

Selecting players for a match will for example depend on how players respond to training and so our duty will only be to give professional advice and carry on from there.

Though there will be pressure, I think we will work so hard that we would be able to surmount the pressure that will come our way.

We will have to instil discipline and challenge them by motivating them with the reasons why they should not fail. The direction we chart will very much determine what we achieve and we are ready for that.

 

What qualities do you think you have that necessitated your recommendations above all others who were also interested in the job you now have?

 

First and most importantly, I am a learner and so I do see every opportunity an avenue to learn something new and that has been my guiding principle right from my playing days till now.

Having been under several coaches both as a player and now a coach, I have a learnt a lot that I will put at the disposal of my boss. I am going to be his backbone to deliver and I will serve that with all sincerity and diligence.

I am sure my boss investigated my background and seen that I would be able to make a positive impact to the success story that he will be writing at Kotoko.

We understand each other very well and we would be transferring that onto the playing body which we intend to use to motivate the players. I have the believe that we will be successful in that respect.

I am happy to say that my boss is also a disciplined person so with that, we are sure to make great strides.

 

Most people always think about motivation in terms of monetary rewards and yet you have been talking about motivating them at training. What form will that motivation take?

 

It will be about how you talk to the players during training sessions and the ability to understand their problems and needs, empathizing with them and other psychological things that will make the player feel loved to be able to have the free mind to deliver. Issues about financial rewards are out of our jurisdiction but will once in a while come in when we realise it will disturb our work as coaches.

 

How anxious or otherwise are you looking forward to your first game?

 

I am highly motivated for our fist game and I say this because having watched the team train and the players charged up for the season, I know we will do well. We will have no excuse to fail because we have to start the season on a good note to ginger us into a league success.

 

Kotoko’s problem in the last season was with the central defence. Having played that role actively before and your international exposure as a backdrop, how do you hope to assist to make that position a strong point of the team?

 

I watched some of the training sessions and the two practice matches we played in Sunyani and Dunkwa and has made some observations which I have shared with my boss. I cannot share it on this forum because we cannot give away our strategies. But one thing I can assure is that Kotoko will be the better for the strategies we have.

 

We know you played most of your football abroad; can you however take us through your career especially where you started from?

 

I started with Abossey Okai Soccer Missionaries at the colts level, went to play Abuakwa Susubiribi, then to Okwahu United before moving on to Ashanti Goldfields FC my last local club.

When I went to Europe, I played in Sweden, played two different clubs in Spain and another two in Turkey before hanging up my boots to take up a new challenge in coaching two years ago.

My aim of taking up coaching is to transfer the worth of experience that I have acquired from my days in the national team to now.

 

How was it like playing for the national team?

 

I was a utility player and so I was almost always in the team and it was fun being there amidst all the difficulties we had. The difference between our time and now is that the latter group is highly motivated and that has been the reason why you find every good Ghanaian leaving everywhere trying to catch the eye of the national team selectors.

On selection into the team, the only people who had automatic selection were Abedi Pele and Tony Yeboah, all the other positions were up for grabs by any player who showed seriousness at training.

 

What advice do you have for the current crop of players?

 

I want them to be disciplined on and off the field of play and concentrate on their profession as to how they can be successful. They have better opportunities at their disposal so I want to urge them to go for it.

 

What message do you have for the Kotoko family?

 

I fist will like to thank my boss, Paa Kwesi Fabin for the confidence he has in me and the opportunity he has given me to understudy him. I want to assure him that will be a helper and a good student.

I thank management for their understanding of my philosophy and giving me the contract.

To the fans, I will say that though I did not have the chance to be through the club during my playing days, I am here to fulfil all what I could not do for them so I urge them to continue to be for the team. I love them and will be a good worker for the team.

 

Post comments

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 Richmond -k'daso estate -0266435140
I'll like to offer my little advice to our assistant coach to help Paa Kwesi to lift up our famous club to higher height .
 

george obeng u,s,a virginia
kotoko must play working /better football to their fans thank you
 

diango tandia columbus ohio
Yaw will do very well. I know him
 

Mayers NIIT Ring Road Central Accra P.O.BOX AN5253 N/K
Congrats, Yaw. Welcome to the hot seat. I pray that Kotoko management will invest in the development of you coaches like Yaw Acheampong and others. I suggest that we sign a development contract with him and his boss Paa Kwesi for Kotoko to finance a long term development program. they should be periodically attached to big clubs alongside participation in coaching seminars abroad. Kotoko should reserve the right to manage them as professional coaches. Yaw Ache is an excellent gentleman and coaching material to nurture and use for the future. Lets help him now. Ache i luv u keep de fire Blazing.Iz ur jr bro Mayers
 

Ben columbus lordsparkus@yahoo.com
Yaw kudos and welcome to the reds ; that is where humility and respect can take you ,you will surely excell big time go men
 

Frederick Asah-Kissiedu(KOTORCH) , South Africa
A big Welcome to Bro. Yaw. I wish him the very best of luck. God bless fabu.
faaaaaaaaabuuuuuuulous, the best. Kotoko beku me
 

agani columbus ohio
yaw i know your discipline and respect will guide ya through kudos

 

collins sarfo yeboah. pob 2753. nhyirafm.ksi.
i want to ask coach acheampong that been a player for goldfields football club now ashgold but now coaching asante kotoko, what team does he support in Ghana? 
 

 

Gaado knust
may Allah help fabulous

Thonnhy Yaw Oduro, ex-captain, Kotoko U-20 (1986-87)
I want to take this opprtunity to welcome my senior playing colleague (Yaw). I was playing for Awudome Sony Halifax whilst he was playing for Abossey Okai Soccer Mercenaries all in Accra. I've also liked him for his discipline.

I know he can translate that discipline, plus his European experience into the boys.

What I want him to do is to play the psychic role in tough matches since he has been there before.

Azumah Dennis Namlemnah, chemistry department, knust

he is the one the coach chose to assist so we should allow them to bring their experiences to bear for their three years. they would be assessed at the end of their working term.

RAYMOND AKA CHICHIS
HE CAN'T COACH A BIG TEAM LIKE FANTABULOUS KUMASI ASANTE KOTOKO. PLEASE EMPLOY SOME OF DE OLD PLAYERS TO BE DE ASSISTANT  COACH. A WORD TO A WISE IS ENOUGH.
 

Citizen Albert Kramo, Accra
Congrats, Yaw. Welcome to the hot seat. I pray that Kotoko management will invest in the development of you coaches like Yaw Acheampong and others. I suggest that we sign a development contract with him and his boss Paa Kwesi for Kotoko to finance a long term development program. they should be periodically attached to big clubs alongside participation in coaching seminars abroad. Kotoko should reserve the right to manage them as professional coaches. Yaw Acheampong is an excellent gentleman and coaching material to nurture and use for the future. Lets help him now.