AN AFRICAN king has revealed he prays for Sunderland to win every time they play.
King Osei Tutu II of Asante has praised Sunderland AFC for its work in Africa – and told of his holy support for the Black Cats when they take to the pitch.
The king passed on his message to a delegate from SAFC who visited Ghana this week to strengthen Sunderland’s links with Africa.
Graham Robinson, head of international football development for Sunderland, was in Africa as part of the Black Cats partnership with Ghana Premier League champions Asante Kotoko.
The king was unable to meet Graham, but sent his support of the partnership between Sunderland AFC and Asante Kotoko.
In his absence, the king’s representative, Oheneba Adusei Poku officially welcomed Graham to the palace and gave him a tour of the museum in the palace grounds.
The king praised the support received from SAFC in recent times especially, with youth development.
He said the partnership between the two clubs has been of great benefit to Asante and that he wishes it to grow, also writing of how he prays every game for the Black Cats.
On behalf of SAFC, Graham signed the royal visitor’s book at the palace, cementing the club’s place in history.
Graham began his tour with an update meeting from Asante Kotoko board members Kabral Blay Amihere and Frank Apageyi.
The Black Cats, as part of the partnership, share coaching methodologies as well as the transfer of skills through on the ground ‘coach the coaches’ clinics.
Graham continued his tour with a visit to Kumasi, where he observed the Porcupines first team training session. T
Graham said the training session, which took place at the Baba Yara Stadium, demonstrated the talent of the Ghana Premier League champions, who have eight million followers.
Graham also held an intense training session with the Porcupine’s under-17s team. The players from the team, who have been hand-picked from regional school games.
Graham said: “The boys have been fantastic to work with, they’re technically very good and attentive, making it very easy for me to do my job.”
SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “Both parties very much value the positive relationship we are continuing to develop and we are looking at a number of ways in which we can continue to help each other achieve our goals.
“Graham’s visit to Africa is an important part of the partnership as it shows our commitment to share our footballing knowledge, in addition to lending business expertise to help African football not only continue to grow, but thrive.”
Graham rounded off his tour with a fond farewell final training session with the Porcupines under-17s team.
In appreciation of all the support in the structural planning of youth development and the implementation of coaching techniques, Graham was presented with a traditional Ghanaian shirt.
Graham’s trip has been part of a burgeoning partnership between Sunderland AFC and Asante Kotoko, who were crowned Ghanaian champions last season.