If there is any coach who has brought relief to a team that was virtually sinking beyond rescue in the latter stages of the Ghana Premier League and if there is a coach who has invigorated a whole city to rally behind their team again, then it is definitely Joachim Yaw Acheampong.
Born in Accra on November 2, 1973, Yaw Acheampong is one of the few former players of Black Stars who has decided to take up coaching job despite difficulties involved in the trade, especially in Ghana. He holds a CAF License ‘A’ and International DFB Coaching Certificates (Advanced Level).
Acheampong began his playing career with Obuasi-based Goldfields, featuring for the club in four seasons before he moved to Europe. Power FC and King Faisal were two other local clubs he played for between 1999 and 2001.
Yaw returned to Ghana after travelling abroad to join IFK Norrköping in Sweden. He caught the eyes of the Swedish side during his exploits with the Ghanaian Olympic Team (Black Meteors) that won Bronze in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.
After spending a year in the Swedish top flight, Acheampong moved to Spain to join Real Socieded on a two-year deal before he was transferred to Hercules in a year deal. Turkish club, Samsunspor, also signed on the Ghanaian in 1998 before he decided to return home.
Back home, Yaw Acheampong made his experience bear by coaching in the top flight. He helped his former club, Ashantigold, formerly GOLDFIELDS to second place in the Ghana Premier League in 2011 before he was relieved of his position the following year.
He decided to join Tema-based Inter Allies in 2014, a position he held till he was poached by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to assist head coach of the national U-17 team, Paa Kwesi Fabin.
He declined an offer to join the Black Starlets to sign on to Accra Great Olympics where he unsuccessfully guided the team to relegation. He was brought in to save the team from going down but he failed to deliver on his mandate after guiding the team into the drop zone.
Now with Elmina Sharks after taking over from Kobina Ammisah who was relieved off his position due to inconsistent results, Yaw Acheampong has transformed the team into a winning side by recording four remarkable straight wins. He has helped move the team from the 12th position to the 7th position with 33 points.
Though he is yet to take absolute charge of the team as a substantive coach, Yaw Acheampong will certainly get the nod if he is able to guide the team to fourth place in the Ghana Premier League with only five matches to the end of the season. He is currently assisted by former Black Stars and Goldfields forward, Felix Aboagye.
By Gottlieb Baako