After ending Ashantigold’s unbeaten run in the Ghana Premier League in midweek, Liberty Professionals seemed to back on track. And then on Sunday, they lost 2-1 to Dwarfs.
The scientific soccer lads lie 15th on the league standings after seven matchdays. Their two consecutive victories gave coach Reginald Boateng and his charges a breather after pressure for a stuttering start to the campaign. The supporters were worried about their team performance and were instantly tipped to be relegation candidates. Sunday's result did not help matters, but there is a ray of hope due to a few factors.
Liberty is picking up form, after ending AshGold’s streak courtesy Elvis Kyei’s Baffour’s late strike at the Karl Reindolf Park last Wednesday. Last season, the club performed well at home, winning nine matches, but still finished 11th. Of note was their fluid forward line. This term, however, things did not start well, as they lost two consecutive matches. Team spirit is high following their recent showing and the talk of relegation is quashed, for now. Liberty are even dreaming of a top six finish, something they have not achieved in years. And this is in spite of Sunday's deflating loss.
Is Brite Andoh the 'new Latif Blessing'?
Since Latif Blessing left the shores of the country, Liberty Professionls have lacked a real star to take up the mantle from where he left off - he netted 17 goals to finish league top scorer.
The club which can boast alumni such as Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and many others may have a new big name in the works. Brite Andoh is the new star who is taking the club by storm with his sublime skill and defense-splitting passes.
The home fans sang his name after he led the downfall of league leaders Ashantigold in mid-week. In fact, he's been a vibrating presence in the dressing room, insisting that things would change. “The departure of some key players has not exactly affected us but I think in a way it has halted us. We had good replacements for them but you know those who have been in the battle ground before always know better,” he said.
Andoh (below, middle) has scored two goals so far in the league and will look to emulate his predecessors.
Reginald Boateng’s instruction finally getting through
The appointment of Reginald 'Reggae' Boateng (below, pictured) was greeted watchers with interest. For one thing, it's his first managerial job at this level.
The 35-year-old is a former player of the club himself, and he took over the reins from Michael Osei at the beginning of the season. Things didn’t pan out as he expected following initial poor team performances, which some attributed to the player exodus as well as a lack of technical experience with the new boss.
But he's determined to start on a good note, as he noted after beating AshGold: “I can tell you we played well and so we had the victory. There was a lot of commitment, dedication and a lot of motivation from management. Even our former player Asamoah Gyan made a promise to us, Baffour Gyan and Sam Johnson came to watch the game and gave us their support. The morale in camp was too high to lose or draw at home," he said in an interview.
Form Guide - last six matches
Liberty Professionals 1-3 WAFA
Inter Allies 2-0 Liberty Professionals
Liberty Professionals 1-1 Medeama
Eleven Wonders 0-2 Liberty Professionals
Liberty Professionals 1-0 Ashantigold
Dwarfs 2-1 Liberty Professionals