Association football remains a collective effort with many facets playing varying roles both on and off the field with one common goal. The success or failure of any club has trickle down effect on average supporter or dreams of that young footballer aspiring to join the club in the future. With no single league trophy in the last 10 calendar years, the brand Accra Hearts of Oak SC has seriously suffered despite the avalanche of talents passing through the club in recent years.
As a traditional club with continental heritage under its name, the Phobian fan base enjoyed enough fame in the past led by their 2000 CAF Champions glory and the continental heroics over Asante Kotoko SC in the 2004 CAF Champions league. From the way the club was run to the quality of players on board, Accra Hearts of Oak SC blew opponents apart with sheer delight. The collective success of the club was premium and ruled supreme over any other personal ambitions. Supporters played their roles as the 12th player whiles administrators ticked their boxes to free the playing body of any financial hoodlums. Is that the case in recent years?
Fans of Accra Hearts of Oak SC in recent years have resorted to the viral social media to ridicule their own club, killed the spirits of upcoming talents and supported the club only in the virtual world. Stadia are barely filled whiles extra motivation from these teaming fan base is completely out of the picture. Supporters have suddenly evolved their stature into mere spectators at the very best with no self belief. The true never say die tag has been washed ashore by this new set of supporters.
The playing body
Players in the camp of Accra Hearts of Oak SC must be made to feel the legendary nature of the kit they are wearing. The past of the club must be placed in the mindset of the players and readied to replicate the glory days of the club. The famous rainbow colors represent more than just football as the club appears more like a religion in the eyes of the teaming fan base. These players must be taken through past clips of their predecessors with some last gasp equalizers, impossible come backs, continental fame and exhilarating wins on enemy territories. These short clips, which might appear cosmetic in the eyes of the reader, could do the magic in the resurrection course of the club.
If the TT brothers, Alhaji Hearts, Ernest Thompson and their generation succeeded enormously as administrators of the Great Oak tree, what was their secret? Weaker oppositions faced or better preparations? The current administration is decoupled from the ground supporter and that remains their biggest setback. Substandard players are recruited in recent years with no proper transition from the sinking auroras to the main team. Free consultation from the past leadership won’t denigrate the class of this crop of administrators aside complementing their tenure.
The club must combine latter day branding of football with the club’s traditional inclination in the society. Supporters must be given focal role to flood stadia across the country during domestic fixtures. The players must be made to feel the national colors of the club rather its Accra colors alone. Can you imagine a fully packed Cape Coast stadium rooting behind Accra Hearts of Oak SC against Ebusua Dwarfs FC? The Crabs will really feel the wrath of the Oak Tree.
The collective contribution of these interconnected pillars will certainly revive the fortunes of the onetime 8th best club in the world.