Expectations are high as the 2019/2020 season of University of Ghana Football League (UGFL) kick starts on Wednesday September 4.
Soccer teams from the various halls of residence at the University of Ghana will battle each other for the prestigious trophy.
For the past five years, the Akuafo Hall and the Mensah Sarbah Hall have been the most dominant forces winning it thrice and twice respectively.
Last year, Akuaffo Hall were crowned champions while Mensah Sarbah Hall failed to qualify out of the group phase for the first time in 8 years.
The University of Ghana Sports Directorate has released the fixtures for the League and we take a closer look at Group B, a group tagged as the “group of death” where Mensah Sarbah, Hilla Limann, Distance Education and the Bani Halls are seeded.
We focus more on the game between Distance Education and the Hilla Limann Hall.
Hilla Limann Soccer Team
The Limann side come into the tournament having won the UGEL cup, a tournament organized for the University of Ghana halls at the Southern part of campus.
Coach Nana Kwesi Ohene (Tee-Gee) said he used the tournament to revise his tactics ahead of this season.
The gaffer could be described as the most powerful tactician in the League despite his team’s inability to qualify for the group phase in the past two seasons.
His philosophy for the team is a very ambitious one and his progressive work is turning a crop of average talents to a kind that plays a blend of possessive and highly expansive football.
But Hilla Limann will have to translate all the training lessons to the field when they take on last year runners-up Distance Education in the game of the week.
The team have lost their star man Clinton Appiah to Akuaffo Hall, but Coach Nana Kwesi added to his squad with the duo of Enoch Larbi and Glenn Ampomah of Jubliee Hall.
University of Ghana Soccer team ace Ezekiel Asare and Akomea Prince will be key to Limann’s chances.
Team News has it that Osman Kwakye has fully recovered from the injury he sustained last season, and the striker will be eager to better the two-goal tally he achieved during the last edition.
Distance Education Soccer Team
The Distance side were runners-up in the last edition finishing behind champions Akuaffo Hall.
Despite the huge success in past years, the side has lost key men ahead of the crucial encounter.
Many have criticized that they benefitted from the support of players of other halls but that is seen as a lean accusation.
Festus and Yussif Alhassan received call-ups to the UG Football team after a formidable showing last season and the duo are still in the squad.
Coach Phillip Asare is eager to win the trophy for the first time and has already hinted he and his side are not the least intimidated by the loss of key men.
The relatively smaller squad to last season could be a bother for the Distance side especially when the conditions of their players are not too good.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
“We have lost key men but we still have a few familiar faces like Yussif Alhassan and we only want to work hard” (Coach Phillip Asare – Distance Education)
Limann Coach Nana Kwesi Ohene (Tee-Gee) on the chances of the team ahead of the season; “We always are unlucky. We start strongly and something messes it up at the last minute. This year hopefully things will change. We will not be complacent”
- Hilla Limann soccer team have only won 5 of their last ten games in the University of Ghana Football league. (4 loses and 2 draws)
- Limann have conceded only one goal in their last three games
- The UGEL Hall has scored 8 goals in their last three games
- Limann Hall has not qualified for the knockout face since they first did in the 2015/2016 season.
- Distance Education soccer team have lost once in their last once in their last six competitive league games.
- Distance have conceded four goals in their last six league matches and scored 16 goals in their last six games.
- Distance Education Team’s 2nd place finish last year was their best ever in the competition’s history
- This is the first meeting between both sides in the University of Ghana Football League.
Story by: Godfred Dampte-Larbi|Univers Sports|universnewsroom.com