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Why Medeama’s Premier League triumph is simply more than a trophy

When the whistle blew for the final time this season in Tarkwa, it signaled the end of an elusive, 12-year ambition.

The Mauves and Yellows for once, had finally come good with their league-grappling potential. And on the day they finally ended the season as champions for the first time, Evans Adotey’s first words to the media were special.

“Let me first give thanks to the Almighty God. I am a Catholic, we normally pray Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit - that is our prayer. From the rising of the sun and to its setting, the Lord’s name is to be praised.”

For religious people, moments of joy and sorrow are the counts [not exclusively] on which reverence is given to the deity. And Medeama won the title on a Sunday, so it fit the script perfectly.

And also, third time’s the charm, right?

Their triumph seems like one carved in stone.

In 2018, the Anas expose brought to a premature end, the Ghana Premier League, while the coronavirus outbreak, did same in 2020. 

Both years, the title was theirs, destined to settle in Tarkwa. But for a club which could afford relocating to a mining locality, a gold winners’ medal seemed too costly to mint.

But this season, they refused to be denied and fought their demons - demons which haunted them with the finish line in sight.

“There were jitters [from the two denied seasons]," Patrick Akoto, the club's PRO told Joy Sports.

“We were hoping that nothing untoward will happen or any force majeure. We were hopeful of finally claiming the title.”

But this season looked far from one which would have been favourable to Tarkwa. They started the season with two wins in two but went on a four-game losing streak later - twice losing to ten men teams in that streak.

It was then followed by one win in three games before the club cut ties with David Duncan.

“The targets set for any coach who comes to the club is to win either the league or FA Cup, or go for the double,” Akoto disclosed.

And it seems those were targets probably too lofty for Duncan’s replacement - Umar Rabi. He deserted the club only 62 days after his announcement.

“The club cannot tell why he decided to leave. He took a personal decision to resign, it’s difficult to understand,” a club official mentioned.

Rabi left the club in 8th and back to square one, as they prepared for a third coach’s announcement in a single season. A reality which has been described as 'difficult'.

“This is how the world is. If you want good for yourself, there’ll be a lot of good and bad,” was Moses Armah’s assessment of his board’s decision.

Club CEO, Moses Armah

“I was looking for a coach who was going to win me the title, and it wasn’t coming.”

Adotey confidence

With no one else to turn to, Adotey was brought back to a club where he had already won two FA Cups and one Super Cup. 

“We had confidence in Adotey, he’s evergreen and experienced,” was the board's overview of the 58-year-old ahead of his return.

And he soon proved why he was the man to count on, winning four of his first five league games. His only defeat in that run was away to leaders, Aduana.

But the Mauves and Yellows will soon be back for their own ounce of blood.

However, after four wins in five, Medeama will only manage two in the subsequent five, staining Adotey’s terrific start.

But Aduana themselves were not having a good time, as they dropped points in games they entered as favourites. 

Slowly, that poor form created room for a title run-in, when the season looked primed to go without one. 

In Dormaa, there was an SOS call.

“As management, we met with the club’s life patron - Nana Dormaahene, and increased the winning bonuses of the players; we doubled them,” Evans Oppong, Aduana PRO revealed to Joy Sports. 

“Because they were leading by 8 points, and Hearts and Kotoko were having a poor season, they thought ‘who is Medeama?’ 

“They were complacent but we sat them down to psych them to take Medeama seriously.”

It seems while the increased bonuses fell into deep pockets, the advice fell on deaf ears. 

A 3-0 defeat to Accra Lions saw Aduana surrender top spot to Medeama, who went away to Hearts of Oak and beat them 5-1.

“The turning point of our season was when we beat Kotoko 2-0 in Kumasi. The boys were intrinsically motivated to win the Premier League title and add up to their CVs. There was more to it than money,” Akoto said.

And to Medeama fans, it was a case of football owing them one.

Missing out bitterly in 2018 and 2020 to events beyond their control, and narrowly finishing second in 2021/22 - created a feeling the Premier League trophy, couldn’t hide for too long.

As Medeama went into the final game of the season, fans were actually looking ahead to a coronation party, even though Bechem United, three points off, were hoping to pounce on any slip-ups.

But the Medeama desire was way too strong for that, as celebrations started hours before kickoff.

“This is the moment they [fans] have been waiting for,” Enoch Kizito, a journalist in Tarkwa told Joy Sports.

“I have followed this team for a number of years and have never seen anything like this. I could barely find a place to stand in the stadium as everyone wants to be part of this historic moment.

“The conversation at the start of the week was how Medeama will go about navigating this particular hurdle.”

And the week-long intra-Tarkwa deliberations did produce a way to hurdle, with a homeboy standing on the sidelines.

“Adotey comes from this town. He actually comes from the Akon community - where we have had to use a makeshift facility because of the work at the newly constructed stadium.

“He actually won the title right in front of his own home fans.”

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.