Interview with Joachim Yaw Acheampong
18 October 2009
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
do you think you have that necessitated your recommendations
above all others who were also interested in the job you now
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.