Paa Kwasi Fabin and the managerial merry-go-round

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin

When Kumasi Asante Kotoko head coach Paa Kwasi Fabin submitted his resignation letter to the club’s management last Thursday, citing personal reasons for parting ways with the Porcupine Warriors, he joined a growing list of top flight managers who had either been fired or resigned their posts this season.

Fabin’s resignation came as a surprise to many as he had five months on his current contract remaining. He also quit at a time he was on a crest of a wave after guiding Kotoko to two famous back-to-back wins over arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in friendly encounters, as well as a 3-2 victory against regional rivals, Ashantigold, last Sunday in Kumasi.

The former Black Starlets coach had spent barely seven months in the hot seat of Kotoko, having replaced Briton Steve Polack who was fired 10 months into the job after a string of bad results.

And his sudden departure came just a week after controversial American Japanese, Kenichi Yatsuhashi, parted ways with Premier League champions, Aduana Stars, after an unsuccessful romance lasting less than two months.


Kenichi Yatsuhashi

Kenichi, who is fast gaining a reputation for short stints with clubs, flirted with Inter Allies at the start of the season but quit the Tema-based side after eight months on the job only to resurface at Dormaa-Ahenkro as replacement for Yusif Abubakar, who won the Premier League title for Aduana but had a difficult continental campaign.

In fact, the player transfer market has been as busy as that of the coaches who are often the scapegoats when teams fail.

The Graphic Sports Online takes a look at the Ghana Premier League’s coaching merry-go-round this season. Among the casualties are Bashiru Hayford (Ebusua Dwarfs), Evans Adotey (Medeama), Henry Wellington (Hearts of Oak), Abdul Karim Zito (Dreams FC), Charles Koblah Akonnor (AshantiGold).


Bashiru Hayford

Bashiru Hayford joined Ebusua Dwarfs in December 2017 on a one-year deal after leaving Ashantigold, having guided the Soccer Miners to their first Premier League title in 19 years.

He joined Dwarfs with a promise to make the club one of the best in Ghana. However, Coach Hayford left the club last April after growing frustration with the poor performance of the club this season.

Coach Hayford was recently appointed Black Queens Coach to help prepare the team ahead of the 2018 Africa Women’s Nations Cup to be hosted by Ghana from November 17 to December 1.


Abdul Karim Zito

Abdul Karim Zito, currently head coach of the Black Starlets, also laid down his tools at Dreams FC in April to enable him to concentrate on his national U-17 male team duties. He was replaced at Dreams by Finnish coach, Juha Pasoja.

Zito was instrumental in Dreams FC’s return to the premiership after they were demoted by a newly-constituted Appeals Committee for fielding an unqualified player (Cudjoe Mensah, a.k.a Daniel Gozar). He also guided the team to win the GHALCA-organised G8 tournament in Cape Coast Stadium.

Charles Akonnor also left his job at AshantiGold last June after  a fallout with the new leadership of the club.

The management of AshantiGold asked Akonnor to stay away from the team for failing to report to work on time with assistant coach Yakubu Mambo being handed temporary responsibility for the team’s training at their Obuasi base.

Akonnor joined the 2015 Ghana Premier League champions from Dreams FC midway into last season and helped the club escape relegation.

He guided the Soccer Miners to the second spot of the Zylofon Ghana Premier League log at the end of the first round but resigned following a fallout with the club’s management.


C K Akonnor

Yusif Abubakar was also axed by Aduana last June for poor performance in both the Premier League and in the CAF Champions League.

He paid the ultimate price for a hugely unconvincing campaign that left his side in the relegation zone of the league, while the Ghana Champions failed to progress to the group phase of the Champions League and were subsequently relegated to the second tier Confederation Cup.

Abubakar lost his job less than eight months after guiding the Dormaa-based club to their second Ghana Premier League title. He was succeeded by Japanese coach, Kenichi Yatsuhashi.


Yusif Abubakar