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Opinion Hearts of Oak shot themselves in the foot with Kenichi Yatsuhashi sack

Hearts of Oak had a bright chance of winning the Ghana Premier League this season until their handling of their coaches faded that dream into thin air. The Ghana Premier League shot themselves in the foot.

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Kenichi Yatsuhashi was sacked by Hearts of Oak in the middle of the Ghana Premier League season. play

Kenichi Yatsuhashi was sacked by Hearts of Oak in the middle of the Ghana Premier League season.

(Senyuiedzorm Awusi Adadevoh)

For the first time in seven seasons, the Phobians had a strong belief that their league title drought will be ending after a blossom start to the Ghana Premier League.

But that dream has failed to come to reality following a ‘bad decision’ taken by the club’s board to part ways with Kenichi Yatsuhashi.

Hearts of Oak prior to the start of the season had a poor pre-season. The then head coach of the club, Kenichi Yatsuhashi was heavily criticized for having no portfolio when he was appointed as the club’s head coach. Kenichi never got despaired as he went on to prepare his team for the season.

play Hearts of Oak took Sergio Traguil off his first team duties on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. (Senyuiedzorm Awusi Adadevoh)


Kenichi Yatsuhashi and his Hearts of Oak team took the Ghana Premier League by storm when the football league started. The Japanese-American trainer in his first four games won three and drew one. The fans of the Phobians and Yatsuhashi’s critics begun to believe in him.

READ ALSO: Why Wa All Stars will win the league

With the performance of Yatsuhashi and his team, the revenue of the club shot up as fans of the club trooped to the Accra Sports Stadium week in week out.

However, as the season went on, the relationship between Yatsuhashi and his employers begun to fade out.

Kenichi Yatsuhashi kicked against an interference from the club’s board led by Togbe Afede. With that frosty relationship and the board’s claim of Kenichi’s disdain for authority, Hearts of Oak ended the first round at the fourth position.

Yatsuhashi at the start of the second round wrote to the club requesting for a short leave so that he can attend a coaching course but his request was turned down as both parties mutually parted company.

Kenichi Yatsuhashi was adored by the Hearts of Oak fans. play

Kenichi Yatsuhashi was adored by the Hearts of Oak fans.

(Senyuiedzorm Awusi Adadevoh)


A week before Yatsuhashi left the club, the Phobians hired Portuguese trainer Sergio Targuil as the club’s U-20 coach.

Traguil assumed the role of head coach of Accra Hearts of Oak when Kenichi Yatsuhashi finally left the Ghana Premier League club.

Hearts of Oak board and management were optimistic Targuil will perform better than Yatsuhashi.

READ MORE: Hearts of Oak sack Sergio Traguil

The Portuguese tactician with just two months as the club’s head coach has seen Hearts of Oak’s chances of winning the Ghana Premier League title fade into thin air.

The club board knowing very well where the club is heading decided to reassigned Traguil to his original position [that is the head coach of Auroras] whilst Yaw Preko has been mandated to take charge of the team for the rest of the season.

Though it will be a welcoming news for the followers of the club, the damage had already be done by the club’s board and they have clearly shot themselves in the foot.

Hearts of Oak will go another season without winning the Ghana Premier League title.

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