Samuel Boadu is a very ambitious 35-year-old.
He also happens to be quite emotional, too, but this aspect of his personality would have to be dissociated from the former, if he is to have a fair chance of emerging triumphant from next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against former employers Medeama.
For a marriage that went so well, the divorce, ever since Boadu left Medeama for life at the helm of capital side Accra Hearts of Oak earlier this year, has been messy. Boadu has moved on and then some, leading his new club to its first Ghana Premier League title — a first major piece of silverware, too — in 12 years.
It was just the sort of glory that he had spent his time at Medeama — all of four years — trying to build and prime the Mauve & Yellows for.
Perhaps, then, it’s the pain of losing Boadu — also the abruptness of it all — in a season that actually matters (unlike those between 2017 and this one), and of missing out on such success as Hearts are now reveling in, that has the folks in Tarkwa hurting and seemingly unable/unwilling to let go of the past.
“Do you know the psychological trauma he took the club through?” Patrick Akoto, Medeama’s Communications Director, lamented in an interview last month with Otec FM.
“We were forced to go and hire two coaches. A lot of things went on and it has really affected the club because the timing was wrong.
“That is why the club has resolved from the board that the matter must see its logical conclusion.”
Those were the final weeks of the 2020/21 league season, with Boadu and Hearts racing towards the finish line; Togbe Afede XIV, the club’s majority shareholder, couldn’t afford any distractions, and reportedly settled the compensation fees demanded by Medeama for the sudden loss of Boadu’s services (and those of his assistant, Hamza Obeng).
End of discussion, surely?
Well, so we thought, until Thursday morning when things flared up once more. Again, it was Akoto making remarks about Boadu — with warmer sentiments this time.
“We take extreme delight in the fact that we picked Samuel Boadu and gave him a huge platform,” he said on Accra-based Asempa FM.
“Very few clubs, or perhaps none, at the Premier League level would have dared to take that risk, especially when he was hugely unknown. But we believed in him and he has successfully guided Hearts to the league crown.”
If that was meant as a compliment, it wasn’t received as such by the subject and intended recipient.
Boadu, who joined Medeama from a lower-tier side, wrote in a text message almost immediately sent to the show’s host, Kwadwo Mensah: “Please tell Akoto to stop talking about giving me a platform. What platform? I worked for them… so he should stop that.”
“Let posterity be the best judge.”
Shots fired, then, but it’s arguably next weekend, when Boadu and Medeama cross paths for the second time since his departure, that one might expect fireworks to truly fly: a coach eager to prove beyond all lingering doubt that he made the right choice with his mid-season career move against a club still feeling scorned and sore over a break-up that has clearly left them reeling?
And the game comes towards the climax of a competition that Hearts have won more times (10) than any other side, but also one in which Medeama have been more frequent winners (twice, from the last five editions) in recent memory.
The plot is thickened further by the fact that Hearts have reportedly attempted to pluck some of Medeama’s best players — not so long after sweeping nearly their entire technical bench — ahead of next season, with Medeama responding with an equally ‘unreasonable’ transfer wish-list of key Hearts assets.
Ahead of the upcoming duel, though, the last thing Hearts would want is for Medeama to get into Boadu’s head — judging by the tone of his text message, they probably already have — as it could disrupt even the best-laid plans of the finest tactical mind in the country.
Should he turn up at the Cape Coast Stadium armed with anything but clarity of thought and level-headedness, the game — and, ultimately, the giant, gleaming trophy awaiting the victors of this competition — could play right into Medeama’s hands.
And if that happens, they surely wouldn’t mind rubbing it in his face, would they?
Yaw Frimpong — Ink & Kicks