KobbyKyeiSportsNews : Personality Profile of the Week

KobbyKyeiSportsNews : Personality Profile of the Week

Charles Kwablan Akonnor born March 12, 1974 in Accra is a former Ghanaian international footballer. He played as a versatile midfielder(central midfielder) and spent most of his playing career in Germany.

Playing Career
Akonnor had his youth career at Young Hearts Tema(1985-1987) and Okwawu United(1988-1990). He started his professional career at Obuasi Goldfields(now Ashantigold SC) from 1990-1992. Akonnor first went to Germany in 1992, along with friend and national teammate Samuel Kuffour. He played six years with Fortuna Köln (all in the second division). He made 153 appearances for Fortuna and scored 26 goals. He switched in 1998 to VfL Wolfsburg.

At Wolfsburg, Akonnor quickly developed as a versatile player and one of the teams’ most important elements and due to him showing to be a leader on and off the field, in 2001–02 season, he was given team captaincy. However, at the start of the following season he was injured (a knee problem which required an operation in 2003), prompting a January 2004 move to SpVgg Unterhaching, in a second-level return. He made 121 appearances for VFL Wolfsburg, scoring 13 goals. At SpVgg Unterhaching, he made 46 appearances, scoring 4 goals.

In 2005 Akonnor moved to Denmark to play with AC Horsens, playing an important part in the team’s consolidation in the Danish first division, where they had just arrived in the previous season. He made 44 appearances at AC Horsens, scoring 5 goals.

He played one final season in Cyprus’ top flight, with Alki Larnaca FC. In summer 2008, he left Cyprus and moved to Germany based club SC Langenhagen in the Oberliga Niedersachenliga-West. He played there until 18th February 2009 when he announced the end of his career. He made 11 appearances at SC Langenhagen.

International Career
Akonnor showed himself to be a leader during his playing career, being named captain both at club and national team level. Akonnor was named captain of the Black Stars following Abedi Pele’s retirement and he was a key player for Ghana’s senior men’s team, the Black Stars. He earned 41 caps for Ghana, scoring 12 goals. He was part of the team that went to the African Cup of Nations in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000. However, he was never recalled again to the national team after applying for (and receiving) German citizenship.

Coaching Career
On 19th February 2009, Akonnor signed a contract as head coach for Sekondi Eleven Wise where he worked with his former national teammate, Nii Odartey Lamptey as his assistant.

On 22nd January 2010, he was named as the director of sport for Sekondi Eleven Wise. His successor as head coach was Hans-Dieter Schmidt.

On 19th March 2012, he joined capital giants Hearts Of Oak halfway into the 2012 season and steered them to a 3rd place finish in the league, it was believed he had finally emerged to be the best and was ready to take the world by storm. Just 5 matches into the 2013 campaign, Akonnor was fired by Hearts of oak after a miserable 13th on the league table, boasting a solitary win from five games. His predecessor as head coach was Nebojša Vučićević.

In 2013, Akonnor took up a low-pressure job at Right to Dream Academy that prioritized nurturing young talent over winning silverware.

In the year 2015, he returned to the dug-out to coach a competitive club, Dreams FC – then in Ghana’s Division One League. Akonnor’s target was simple: get the club promoted to the Premier League.

He delivered, followed it up with a good season’s stint in the Premier League, only for the club to get demoted in the end due to an anomaly with the registration of a player.The decision was taken by the Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee. They placed a respectable mid-table finish though by placing 11th. 30 games; 11 wins, 7 draws and 12 loses (40points).

Akonnor led another promotion charge for the Dawu outfit before quitting to join boyhood club Ashantigold in the year 2017 with the nearly impossible task of guiding the 2015 champions to safety. Ashgold had suffered a shambolic start to the season that had seen them victorious in just two of their first 12 games, a run that culminated in the resignation of veteran coach, Bashir Hayford.

Ashantigold eventually survived relegation miraculously by placing 11th with 41points.
Some argued, but that was all Akonnor’s work and later joined Asante Kotoko SC.

On 1st October 2018, he was appointed as the head coach of Asante Kotoko. In January 2019, he helped the club to qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup after beating Coton Sports(5-3 on aggregate) in the final round of the competition.The first time since 2008. Asante Kotoko didn’t play that bad at the group stages.

In July 2019, he also helped the club to win the Tier 1 of the Normalisation Committee Special Competition which helped the club to play in the CAF Champions League (2019/2020). Kotoko beat Karela United(4-1 on penalties) to win. He was later told to be the technical director of Kotoko which he rejected and mutually terminated his contract with the club.

In September 2019, he was shortlisted for the head coach of the Guinea national team role but French national Didier Six was given the position.

C.K had a brief stint as Black Stars assistant coach in 2019. He was in the dugout along with Kwesi Appiah for Ghana’s first two AFCON 2021 qualifying matches, against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe. He had a noticeable impact as well, particularly in the first game in Cape Coast.

On 15th January, 2020 the Ghana Football Association named Akonnor as the new Black Stars head coach and will be assisted by David Duncan. CK Akonnor’s first major assignment will be the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan. We at Kobby Kyei News wish him all the best.

Compiled by Kwabena Asante Marfo, KobbyKyeiSportsNews