GPL PREVIEW: Tips for Player and Coach of the Month

What. A. Month!
The Ghana Premier League saw some cool moments in the past four weeks that have highlighted the understated quality around the football played across the country.
And, fittingly, in the same month the Ghana FA have been able to cop a sponsor for the awards of player and coach of the month. Immediately, there were calls for a look at defender and goalkeeper versions, too however, I think it’s not really important.
The most outstanding player can come out of any position on the field. If you are good, stand out. And that’s it.
Which leads to choose my picks for April as it draws to a close: Daniel Lomotey of WAFA scored four in five games as the team went unbeaten. He also won the Man of the Match award, twice and one assist.
Stephen Sarfo of Berekum Chelsea also has similar scoring stats (in a team that has scored just five goals this month, he contributed four), in addition to three Man of the Match awards, but had no assists. He’s been refreshing to watch also because his first season with Chelsea since moving from local rivals, Berekum Arsenal.
That said, Sarfo’s goals have been key at home and helped Chelsea get a rare away point on the road. Without Sarfo, the Blues would not be third on the table. Just to drive his importance home, his talismanic showings are the reason Chelsea beat Hearts, Wa All Stars, Medeama, all at home, and picked a point on the road against Allies. Sensational stuff.
Winful Cobbinah, who has returned to play for Hearts, is a surprise shout as he’s had a terrific month. Despite starting once in five games, the attacking midfielder featured in all of them and has easily been one of the side’s most dynamic players. Against Berekum Chelsea, he came on for Malik Akowuah and changed the game.
He started against Bechem United, and provided three assists in that game, getting himself the man of the match. A goal and five assists for a player who only returned to GHPL action in April is no mean feat.
Where Lomotey gets it for me is the impact of his goals and that lone assist. WAFA have overtaken Kotoko on top the table, and stayed there, while Chelsea have not been stable. WAFA, who for a long time could not seem to score on the road, suddenly saw the striker score three goals away.
[caption id="attachment_668" align="alignnone" width="799"] Credit: Soccer Facts Ghana[/caption]
The confidence he’s had has in no small way come from WAFA coach, Klavs Rasmussen, who has superintended the side’s 10 goals scored in 5 games this month. The Danish comes against Aduana’s Yusif Abubakar and Scotsman Frank Nuttall of Hearts.
But Rasmussen was untouchable in April, getting a 100% record in winning all five premiership games three wins at home, two on the road. Yusif’s two wins, and three draws have seen Aduana unbeaten while Nuttal led Hearts to win back-to-back matches for the first time this season.
It’s a tough pool, but a trump card for WAFA have been their consistency and sheer steel, something which has been lacking especially on the road.
One more thing: Chelsea boss Randolph Armah should have made it into the shortlist ahead of Hearts’ Nuttal, simply because of the numbers. Armah copped nine points in three wins, and a draw in the month under review – a total of 10 points. Nuttal’s two wins got the Phobians six points, and draws got them two points, a total of eight.
Gary Al-Smith writes as a freelance sport journalist and worked with Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, SuperSport and others. Follow him on Twitter @garyalsmith

Published: 04/28/2017