Still regarded as the fans’ treasure since he arrived on loan from West African Football Academy (WAFA) in 2015, goal-tender Felix Annan has been appraised by many as the ‘Pride of Oseikrom.’
Sadly, he may have to bid farewell to Kotoko or stay put.
Kotoko’s goalkeeping department is already filled with Danlad Ibrahim, who returned from a successful loan spell with Berekum Chelsea; current No.1 Kwame Baah, and new signee Razak Abalora – who staged a superlative debut for Ghana in their 5-2 mauling of 2022 World Cup host Qatar.
Most football critics are of the view that with the introduction of goalkeeper Abalora from Tanzanian giants Azam United, it would force the one-time first choice goalkeeper, Annan, to move away from the Porcupine Warriors.
In his five-year stay with the Porcupine Warriors, Annan was undoubtedly the best – having worked under Paa Kwesi Fabin, C.K Akonnor and Kjetil Zachariassen.
But the 25-year-old might be at the pecking order after he was handed just four starts in the truncated Ghana Premier League and eventually lost his spot to Kwame Baah, who arrived from Inter Allies in 2019.
Of course, one cannot write off Annan because of his less playing time. His tireless and consistent hard work landed him his maiden call up to the Black Stars under former coach Kwesi Appiah in June, 2019 when Ghana squared off with Namibia in a friendly.
He got most Ghanaians over the moon following an impressive display.
Indeed, Annan was so good that he made the great saves look routine.
An unbelievable reader of the game, his positioning is supremely accurate, which allows him to be a step ahead of oncoming shots a lot of the time.
But even when that was not enough, his reactions were razor-sharp. He is capable of producing outstanding diving efforts, sweeping up dangerous one-on-one situations, long powerful kicks and producing decisive penalty saves on the big stage.
One might be disgruntled with Coach Maxwell Konadu as to why he has subjected Annan to limited playing time since he took over managerial roles at Kotoko.
However, that comes with a lot of questions in reference to an interview Annan granted to Myjoyonline.com on November, 17, 2017 saying: “I have no intentions of leaving Kotoko.”
It would be intense mortification for the club to forget a player with great personality and professionalism, someone who appears to have genuinely bought into Kotoko more than most, who rose through the ranks to captain the club.
One cannot dispute the off -field attitude of the skipper; professionalism, attitude and the desire to succeed.
But he feasibly lacks the innate worth that would make him an automatic first choice in a club whose intent is to reclaim the success they last enjoyed in 1970 and 1983 with respect to continental silverware and 2014 where they last lifted the Ghana Premier League.
The Porcupine Warriors will be in no rush to boot him out of the door but Annan might be forced to do that and look elsewhere for regular playing time and first-time selection – rather than be in the shadows of Baah and Abalora.
That is not to say that he is not good enough for Kotoko. There is more room to grow, mature, improve and win his way back to the Black Stars.
So the question still remains: should Felix Annan be bold enough to exit a club he felt has been prejudiced or fight his way and win his spot again?
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY