If the club decides to hire another Ghanaian for the job, Ink & Kicks believes any among these four would be well-suited to the demands.
That Walker, a former Kotoko player himself, holds a keen interest in the job is a fact he has himself admitted to, doing so openly at the end of the 2020/21 season.
He might have been overlooked back then – Ogum the chosen one – but Walker has only gone on to strengthen his claim by firing Accra Great Olympics – otherwise firm relegation candidates – well into the top half of the table for a second successive season.
This time, they finished a place higher (5th), and even though the points tally was slightly lower, that could be accounted for – at least in part – by the fact that scantily-resourced Olympics were without the talismanic presence of Gladson Awako, last season’s catalyst.
Walker – Ogum’s boss with the Black Galaxies – also has vital experience in continental football, having contributed significant technical input to the most impressive Champions League run of any Ghanaian club in recent memory, back in 2012 with Berekum Chelsea.
Handing the keys to Walker doesn’t seem such a bad idea now, does it?
UMAR ABDUL RABI
If experience is Walker’s trump card for the Kotoko post, Rabi, a much younger man, has freshness stamped all over his résumé.
The latter could, like Ogum, be described as a ‘modernist’. He comes armed with all the bright ideas he picked up from working at the Red Bull and Right to Dream academies, and at a time when Kotoko are preparing to launch their long-awaited academy project, Rabi could be a very sensible appointment.
As Rabi proved at Medeama last term, however, he is more than just some gifted talent coach (no disrespect to Otto Addo). Rabi took charge of the Tarkwa-based outfit after three games and quickly set about fixing the early-season mess predecessor Ignatius Osei-Fosu had left in his wake, eventually guiding a hitherto winless side to second on the table while playing some great football.
Rabi might come across as a rookie – Ogum himself didn’t have much of a reputation as a winner when Kotoko sought him out, yet see how he turned out – but Kotoko’s biggest headache, should they identify the 36-year-old as their man, would be to prise him away from tough negotiators Medeama.
A born-and-bred Kumasi boy, it was with the city’s other top-flight side, King Faisal, that Tanko earned his wings before flying to Europe for a career that would see him become only the second Ghanaian to win the UEFA Champions League.
Tanko, since turning his hands to coaching, has garnered top-level experience in Japan, Germany and Cameroon, before finding his way back to Ghana to handle the U-23 national team and assist with the senior side. And, ever since that return, he has been linked whenever the country’s biggest clubs have hunted for new coaches.
His time, maybe, is now.
True, Tanko only recently took on the job of technical director with Premier League first-timers Accra Lions, helping steer them clear of the trouble they’d seemed destined for. It’s on the touchline that he wants to be seen, though, from where he really needs to prove his mettle domestically, as many remain unconvinced about his prowess.
In Kumasi, his city, Tanko could have that big take-off.
Ah, here we go again…
Appiah is Kotoko royalty, having played out nearly the entirety of his professional career with the Porcupine Warriors, notably featuring in the last Kotoko side to win a continental trophy. Following his retirement, back in the early nineties, Appiah served rather briefly on the club’s technical bench, but that was a long time ago.
His most high-profile coaching experiences came in two spells at the helm of the Ghana national team, either side of a memorable three-year tenure with Sudanese club Al Khartoum. Appiah hasn’t held a major role since being relieved of his office as Black Stars trainer at the start of 2020; these days, he is employed as head coach of the Kenpong Football Academy – a life away from the spotlight that he clearly relishes.
Yet Appiah has never been far from returning to Kotoko, according to media reports that just won’t go away, so expect his name to be bandied about again now that the slot has opened up once more. Whether ‘Mayele’ would be lured out of his comfort zone is known only to him, but he ticks too many boxes for Kotoko’s recruiters not to at least put out feelers.