111 days after joining Hearts of Oak, midfielder, Gladson Awako, finally played for the team and got on the score sheet as the Phobians edged Elmina Sharks 1-0 in Week 8 of the Ghana Premier League and he dedicated the goal, his performance and the team’s result to the fans.
Awako’s transfer from Great Olympics and his eventual debut for the team was marked by loads of controversy and speculation as he was not present at the team’s training sessions ahead of the start of the new season.
Eventually, he came out to say that he was away due to health reasons and he was available to help the team in the league.
After the match against Sharks at the Ndoum Sports Complex on December 15, Awako told StarTimes that he wanted to give off his best to appease the fans after a very turbulent period.
“I dedicate the victory to the fans because they needed it so badly. For some time now, things have not been going well with the club and so, this result is huge for the supporters.
In terms of my performance, I had been looking forward to putting up a show like this because of what had happened in the past. So, I needed something like this to cheer the fans and change their perceptions of me.
I will thank my team mates too because they accepted me and welcomed me into the fold.
On the goal, it was something that I intended. During the first half, I was observing the play a lot and the coach also asked us to try shots from distance. I had tried a shot earlier but it did not go in and so, with the one that led to goal, my initial ball control did everything for me and I took the shot.”
Hearts’ assistant head coach, Hamza Obeng, also spoke to StarTimes after the match and revealed that Awako’s goal was enabled by some tactical tweaks the team made before the second half.
“We asked Awako not to stay too far from both the attack and the defence. We also tasked our defensive midfielders to give Awako the ball so he could support the forwards and shoot from range.”