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Hearts coach persuades striking players

Accra Hearts of Oak’s assistant coach, Henry Lamptey Wellington, had to embark on “a house to house evangelism” yesterday to persuade his angry players to resume duty after boycotting training yesterday morning

The swift decision, ostensibly provoked by the players’ unnanounced boycott, was to avert a poor start to the 2016/2017 Premier League season which kick-starts this weekend.

Coach Wellington was worried over the unpaid salaries of his players, fearing the situation could affect the Phobians psychologically as they prepared to take on Inter Allies in their opening Premier League game at the El-Wak Stadium on Sunday.

Speaking to the Graphic Sports over the telephone yesterday, the former Heart of Lions and Kumasi Asante Kotoko coach said, “I am not happy about the current developments because it can affect the players psychologically. I believe there’s a little misunderstanding with these financial issues but I am confident it will be solved soon”.

“These are managerial issues and it worries me that it has got to this stage, especially when the league is about to start. My prayer is that it should not get out of hand”, the experienced gaffer, who replaced club legend Yaw Preko late last year, added.

Some of the players, whom the Graphic Sports contacted on telephone on condition of anonymity, confirmed boycotting training as well as the visit by the coach.

“We did not report to training because of financial issues. They owe us three months salary but because of the coach we will go tomorrow”, said one of the players.

“It seems our employers are taking us for granted so we decided to take a stand. Sadly, the coach didn’t know that we won’t go to training today so he visited us but we will have a meeting this afternoon and take a decision”, said another player.

Another player who sounded disappointed said, “I have not been to my house but someone called me to inform me that the coach visited him. But why should they wait till this happens?” he queried.
Hearts players unanimously boycotted training yesterday morning over claims of outstanding salaries for three months.

Coach Wellington, who turned up for a routine training session at the Ajax Park at Legon yesterday morning, surprisingly met an empty field as no single soul reported for training.

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