The former Cologne and Wolfsburg captain says it has taken people a lot of time to appreciate his coaching abilities, but adds it is better late than never. He is also determined to make it to the very apex of his newfound love-coaching – claiming he wants to do it and succeed at the very top of the profession.
“I am very ambitions and I want to do this to the highest level. Like I always say, I knew that eventually my work and my qualities will show. It has not been an easy road and I have come a long way. It is hard, the fact that I decided to come down here; because I stayed in Europe for a long time. I played for almost 20 years in Europe and yet I decided to comeback home when I could have decided to stay there. I have had my fair share of ups and downs, and the road hasn’t been east at times. And so, if today my qualities are showing, then I am grateful to God,” Akunnor told Ghanaweb TV, in an exclusive interview.
Earlier this week, Akunnor was named the NASCO Ghana Premier League coach of the Month of March, after he guided Ashgold to the top of the league table without defeat in his first five games.
In those five unbeaten games in this year’s league campaign, Ashgold beat both Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko before eventually succumbing to Liberty 1-0 on Wednesday in matchday six.
Akunnor’s rise is no fluke, after cutting his teeth with former Ghana Premier League side Eleven Wise, he moved on to Hearts of Oak, where unfortunately he was sacked after a poor run of form in 2013.
His sacking from Hearts of Oak took a toll on him, and even though it made him doubt if this coaching thing is worth it, the ex-Ghana captain says he decided to soldier on.
“There was no way I was going to give up. That is not me. What I asked myself after the Hearts exit was what can I do to improve? Should I go to Europe and learn more before I come back here? In all that I kept going and had internship opportunities to learn in Germany because the doors are always opened to me at Wolfsburg.
He took a break from coaching after his firing at Hearts of Oak before taking the bold decision to join then Division One side Dreams FC. In his first attempt he helped them gain promotion into the elite division, only for a legal case to send them back into the lower tier after one season in the Premiership.
Last season, when his former club, Ashgold were battling relegation, they reached out to Akunnor to save them. He obliged and staged a remarkable survival mission to save the Obuasi based club.
His deal was then extended by a year and already he is top of the Ghana Premier League table, challenging the established clubs and looking like he has the ability to win this year’s league title.