There will be fireworks on Monday the 28th of November at the Baba Yara Stadium when twelve schools battle it out on day one of the finals of the Ashanti Regional Inter-Schoools Soccer Competition.
The most competitive regional soccer competition in the whole country will once again be closely monitored by football enthusiasts as Obuasi SECTECH begin the defense of the title they won last year under the tutelage of Coach Bashir Hayford and Mambo who are P.E. Tutors of the Obuasi based school and double as Coaches for premier league side Ashantigold but they will face stiff opposition from some of the best sides in soccer in the shape of Adu Gyamfi SHS, T.I. Amass-Ksi, KASS, OKESS and a host of others.
RaphSark analyses day one matches with a bold prediction on how the matches will likely pun out.
1st MATCH ADVENTIST VS ST. GEORGES
The Opening match of the competition will not look exciting on paper but in actual fat looks the most unpredictable on the day. Debutants ST. Georges will be hoping to surprise Adventist in the opening hours of day one but may find experience quite elusive. The lack of exposure may affect ST. Georges as they play for the first time at Baba Yara Stadium though the Assistant Headmaster Mr. Pepprah formerly of Kumasi High school is an experienced P.E. Tutor, it may not be enough to get them the results over highly experienced Adventist SHS. Though Toase SHS were unable to win their protest against St. Georges will perhaps try not to open themselves out for any possible protest after the game.
RAPHSARK predicts a narrow victory for Bantama based Adventist SHS.
Adventist 2:1 St. Georges
2ND MATCH KASS VS TWENEBOA KODUA SHS
One of the most exciting matches on the day will see one of the favourites KASS take on Tweneboa Kodua SHS in the 2nd match of the day. KASS suffered a scare before securing qualification under the tutelage of Coach Patoo but a highly charged Tweneboa Kodua side that managed to kick out last year semi-finalist KNUST SHS will prove difficult to handle.
KASS has shown a lot more consistency in the tournament but always flatter to deceive having come so close yet so far. TKSS were not so convincing in their qualifying matches with very disjointed midfield and blunt attack contrary to KASS who looked very sharp and cohesive in their play.
RaphSark Predicts victory for KASS against. KASS 3:1 TKSS
3RD MATCH ADU GYAMFI SHS VS NEW EDUBIASE SHS
Four times Champions Adu Gyamfi SHS will come up against a tricky opponent New Edubiase SHS in the 3rd match of the day. Jamasi based Adu Gyamfi SHS is arguably the best soccer school for the last decade in the region having reached 5 finals, 6 semi-finals and winning 4 times in the last eight years. ADGASS are yet to lose in open play since losing 2:0 to Prempeh College last three years. They are expected to entertain fans at the stadium with their beautiful inter-positional play and potent attack having scored six goals in the qualifiers without conceding. New Edubiase will not be easy though but the experience of ADGASS will get them through.
RAPHSARK Predicts 2:0 victory for Adu Gyamfi SHS.
4TH MATCH OSEI TUTU-AKROPONG VS BAREKESE
This will be a repeat of last two years match when O.T. managed a narrow victory over Barekese SHS at the Baba Yara Stadium. This match promises a lot of excitement as these two rivals battle it out to determine who moves to the round of 16. OT qualified with 7 points having beating Kofi Agyei SHTS and others while Barekese did not win a single match on the pitch managing just a point but qualified after wining two different protests. The Barekese side showed a lot more quality than the results the chalked. They were beautiful to watch with good passing game but lacked sharpness upfront. Coach Apino will do well to recall his best players who were omitted from the qualifiers for not turning up in school prior to the qualifiers. If those players are recalled then OT will have a match on their hands. The departure of Coach Micheal Opoku back to Adu Gyamfi SHS will leave Apino and Hamza joining forces against OT who are also counting the loss of their two P.E. Tutors Owusu and Fred who are with OWASS and the Atwima Districts respectively.
The Akropong based school looked solid with a lot of energy in the qualifiers and will hope to build on that to overcome Barekese SHS. The best goalkeeper in the qualifiers was from OT and wont be bothered if the match travels to shootouts.
RAPHSARK predicts penalty shootout win for OT after a draw.
5TH MATCH OBUASI SECTEC VS AKROFUOM
Defending Champions Obuasi SECETC will begin their quest to defend the trophy they won last year with with a relatively easy fixture against Akrofuom SECTEC.
O’SECTEC will not struggle to overcome an inexperienced Akrofuom side who are making an appearance after some absence. The tactical prowess of Bashir Hayford and Mambo should be enough to ward off any threats from Akrofuom. Though O’SECTEC qualified through protest having lost to Bankoman who fielded some players from the national U-17 side Black Starlets, the experienced Obuasi side will not sweat to overcome Akrofuom. Beautiful football from O’SECETC will be met with aggressive play from Akrofuom but in the end O’SECTEC will triumph.
RAPHSARK predicts a victory for O’SECTEC. O’SECTEC 2:0 AKrofuom
6th MATCH SAKAFIA VS KTI/FOMENA AMASS
Sakafia will be waiting patiently for their opponent in the last match after the protest of KTI was adjourned to Monday for a final determination. SAKAFIA was a surprise package having qualified against Agona SECTEC and Konadu Yiadom. KTI were beaten by Fomena Amass but lodged a protest which was adjourned to Monday. The Canadian will be at the stadium as they wait for a decision together with Fomena.
Whichever side that emerges from the protest will not have it easy against Sakafia but the inexperience of Sakafia may rob them of victory. The Asokore Mampong based Sakafia are qualifying for the first time and will look dangerous if they can look clean devoid of any potential protest.
RAPHSARK Predicts elimination of SAKAFIA to KTI/Fomena.
Stay tuned for all updates from the games.
The Ashanti Regional Students Representative Council wishes all participating schools the best of luck and may the best side be crowned worthy champions.