A Former Hearts of Oak star, Bernard Dong Bortey, says the euphoria surrounding matches against Asante Kotoko and a desire to make a name for himself motivated him to play above himself to score some memorable goals against the Porcupine Warriors.
He described matches with Kotoko as a honour for every Hearts player which provided every player on both sides an opportunity to prove themselves.
Bortey was one of the most feared players in the so-called ‘64 Battalion’, a dreaded Hearts set up which dominated domestic and continental competitions between 2000 and 2004.
During this period, the enterprising forward became a constant threat in matches against arch-rivals Kotoko, and scored some memorable goals, including a breathtaking free-kick in the 2009 season.
Recalling what he described as fond memories against Kotoko, Bortey told the Graphic Sports that he was always conditioned and in high spirits to beat Kotoko whenever they clashed.
“The euphoria surrounding Hearts and Kotoko matches was enough to prepare you for the task ahead. It motivated me enough to score Kotoko anytime we met.”
“Every player in our time wanted to play in matches involving Kotoko because it gave one the platform to prove one’s worth to the supporters,” he noted.
Bortey played for nine years for the Phobians from 2001-2010 and won four Ghana Premier League titles, CAF Confederation Cup, as well as became the joint top scorer in the 2002 league season.
He went on to play for teams like Al Wasl, Bnei Sakhnin, Aduana Stars, Sông Lam Nghệ An, New Edubiase United, The Panthers, Ånge IF and Great Olympics before hanging up his boots.
The gifted forward has turned his energies into developing talents after obtaining his GFA License C coaching certificate. He was recently appointed coach of Division Two side, Techiman Gold Stars, where he is expected to use his experience to help develop young talents at the club.
Source: Daily Graphic