Ghana Premier League: Six facts to know ahead of the 2021/22 season

The new Ghanaian Premier League is set to kick off on Friday, October 29, with a clash between the Accra Lions and Elmina Sharks setting the tone.

Before the opening meeting, here are some facts gathered by the JoySports team for the new campaign.

  • First season for the Accra Lions and Bibiani.

The Accra Lions and Bibiani Goldstars will make their first appearance in the Ghanaian top flight since their inception.

The Bibiani Gold Stars have rewritten their history books by securing promotion to the Ghanaian Premier League for the first time since their inception 24 years ago.

The team qualified under former manager Kobina Amissah, but their first league campaign will see them play under coach Michael Osei, following Amissah’s resignation from her post.

Goldstars secured a promotion to the Premier League ahead of fierce rivals Skyy FC, who finished second in the league table. The inhabitants of Sefwi and Bibiani will have for the very first time a representative in the Ghanaian elite.

The Accra Lions have also booked a ticket to the Premier League, beating Tema Youth to win zone three of the One League division.

  • Hearts of Oak have struggled to win their opening matches in the Ghanaian Premier League in recent times.

The club haven’t won any of their last four league opening games.

It would have to be traced back to the 2015/16 season, when a 79th-minute strike from Samuel Yeboah secured the Hearts victory on Matchday 1.

Since then, the Accra-based team have failed to win maximum points on the league’s game day.

In the 2017 season, they were held in check by Inter Allies in their first game of the season. Alex Asamoah and Winful Cobbinah’s goals saw the Hearts play 1-1 in their first game in 2018. A 1-0 loss to Berekum Chelsea and a 2-0 loss to Aduana Stars in subsequent seasons meant that the misery of the Phobians’ first game continues.

In the 2021/22 season, Samuel Boadu’s side will face Legon Cities in a tricky game at Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday. Can they break the spell this time?

  • Asante Kotoko won the championship in his last preseason away from Ghana.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko will enter the 2021/22 season knowing he could stand a chance of winning his 25th league title.

The Porcupine Warriors won the league in 2007/08, when they traveled to Germany for their preseason.

Prior to this campaign, the club were in Dubai for two weeks as they stepped up preparations, and fans are optimistic Kotoko could replicate similar success.

  • Karela United made the most signings in the transfer window (17)

Karela United ended the 2021 transfer window with the most signings ahead of the new season. The Anyinase-based club have made 17 new additions to their squad for the 2021/22 campaign, one more than Kotoko, who made 16 rookies.

Having failed to continue their impressive momentum until the start of last season, Karela is hoping for a better finish this time around.

However, they’ll have to do it with key players from last season such as goalie Richard Baidoo, defenseman Godfred Yeboah and Diawise Taylor – who was the league’s top scorer.

But the club will have new additions like Patrick Yeboah, Kelvin Andoh and Emmanuel Anaful to count on.

  • Five substitutions to use in the new season

For the first time since the creation of the Ghanaian Premier League, the Ghana Football Association has given the green light for the use of the five substitutions in matches, with Ghana becoming the latest country to adopt the changes.

Clubs will now be able to nominate 20 players for match days, due to the increase in the number of substitutes for a match from three to five.

Coaches will have three opportunities to use all substitutions to avoid wasting time.

  • Hearts of Oak won the Confederation Cup the last time they played there

For Hearts fans, the new season could bode well. The club triumphed in their last appearance in the CAF Confederation Cup (2005).

In the same season they were also crowned Premier League champions, making it a double for them that season.

To have a repeat of the same success, Hearts will have to beat the Algerian team of JS Saoura to secure qualification for the group stage of the Confederation Cup.

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