Southampton FC have announced Ghanaian Premier League side Asante Kotoko has joined their growing list of international club partners.
Throughout the length of the partnership, Soutmapton will support the development of Asante Kotoko's strategy both on and off the pitch.
The English Premier League will offer their coaching expertise to help the Ghanaian side to build a sustainable academy and pathway to the first team. This guidance will be offered year-round both remotely and through regular visits to Ghana from the club's Interntional Football Partnership team.
Not only will academy staff exchange visits between the UK and Ghana but Asante Kotoko's young prospects will attend annual UK Player Development camps and experience the clubs academy methodology first-hand, once travel corridors have been relaxed post COVID-19.
Off the pitch, Southampton will aid in the club's commercial and operational development through a collaboration on key projects.
"This partnership enables us to plug Asante Kotoko into Southampton in such a way that Kotoko functions like Southampton," started Nana Yaw Amponsah, Asante Kotoko CEO.
"Kotoko would have everything Southampton has but to a level that reflects our different budgets. I believe that with the expertise and resources available at Southampton, we can tap into this and develop our setup to look and feel professional like Saints.”
Mark Abrahams, director of business and community development added: “During these challenging times we’re delighted to have agreed a long-term partnership to work with Asante Kotoko. Nana Yaw has a clear vision for Asante Kotoko to be a self-sustainable football club both on and off the pitch. We look forward to working with him and his team to support their development.”
Based in Kumasi, Ashanti Region in Ghana West Africa, Asante Kotoko have been champions of the Premier League a record 23 times, have won the CAF Champions League twice and were named the African club of the century by International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The African club becomes Southampton's first professional club partnership in the continent, adding to a range of partners across North America, the Middle East, Australia and Japan.
Author: Jake Wilkin