After sixteen years of football in the wilderness (division 1), Tano Bofoakwa will announce their return to the Betpawa Ghana Premier League (GPL) on home soil, for the first time at the dreaded Suyani Coronation Park.
It will be a big day for the green and white boys, a memorable day for the most football loving fans at Bofoakwa Tano who have endured a long wait. Bofoakwa host the destroyers of the Oak tree, Real Tamale United (RTU). Both teams first met in 1978, eleven years after the promotion of the Sunyani-based Bofoakwa. It was a delightful taste of first tier football in Ghana and coincidentally the year RTU also had a feel of top-flight football in the Ghana.
“Asuo a eyiri pebree”, the motto of this great club is one of the most intresting and sarcastic mottos that could ever be adopted by a football club.
Tano Bofoakwa, a traditional club, and one of the oldest clubs in the premier league are yet to win a league title in their club’s history since tasting football in 1967, the year they were established. Apart from that, they hold the enviable record that only one club in Ghana has achieved.
A factory of ‘sharp shooters’
Throughout their history, Bofoakwa Tano has produced some of Ghana’s finest centre foward and strikers. For three consecutive seasons , Bofoakwa’s Tano’s Dan Owusu, scored 78 goals in three years. Dan Owusu is still the player with the highest number of goals in a single season from 1973 till date, 28 goals scored in the 1976 season. Prior to that season, he had scored 24 and 26 in the previous two seasons. Only Hearts of Oak equals that record of a player winning the goal-king on for three consecutive seasons, Ishmael Addo in 1999, 2000, and 2001 seasons.
Bofoakwa’s Top-tier struggles
Bofoakwa Tano come into the 2023/2024 season as the most relegated club in the history of Ghana football, having been relegated five times; the first one in 1979 and the last demotion in 2006/07 season, a season most Bofo fans will never forget. Their game against Kumasi-based King Faisal on April 29th was the last game of the season which ended in a goaless draw and saw King Faisal escape demotion with Tano Bofoakwa cementing their relegation status that year. They needed to win that match to sink Faisal and then stand firm on the league log that season. Before the game, Tano Bofoakwa had won a boardroom point against Alhaji Grusah’s King Faisal in week one of the 2006/07 season when King Faisal fielded an unqualified player. Three points and three goals were awarded to them but later in the season, Bofo also saw a three-point deduction after using an unapproved jersey for a league game.
It was six times Bofo had been promoted to the top-flight football in Ghana, the first being in 1967 and the latest one is their license to play the 2023/24 season. There is no happy moment in someone’s life story than meeting an old foe who stopped you from having an earlier certification to participate in the 2021/22 GPL season; a nice way to celebrate a comeback party at the Sunyani Coronation Park, an avenue for the Bofo lads to use RTU as a pacification lamb to the gods of Sunyani.
Bofoakwa Tano Versus RTU
Friday’s week two encounter is going to be the first time in 5,990 days Tano Bofoakwa is playing as a host team in a premier league encounter. In between these days, Tano had seen darkness and light, strengthening them and making them one of the teams to beat at home this season. There is a big task for RTU, as they would have to perform more than 100% to get the maximum three points in the game and break Ashgold’s record of the last premier league club to score a goal in the league at the Coronation Park, which happened in week 28 of the 2006/07 season on 14th April, 2007.
It’s been over 856 weeks since a Bofo player scored a goal in the premier league and the likes of Benjamin Yorke, Steven Owusu, Charles Owusu would like to break that long lasting record Akwasi Boateng did in the 56th minute against Olympics in the 2006/2007 season on March 21, 2007; a very big match to be witnessed on Friday, 22nd of September, 2023.