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‘I wish I had stayed’ : Kenichi

Sacked Accra Hearts of Oak coach, Kenichi Yatsuhashi, has said he wished he could have stayed with the Phobians, but respected their decision to terminate his contract.

The Japanese-American trainer parted ways with Hearts of Oak on Monday June 20 following his decision to be absent for 25 days to attend a coaching course abroad.

Hearts said it was too risky for Kenichi to leave the club for that long period, within which Hearts would have played five games, hence, the termination of his contract.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Kenichi said he wish he could have stayed and explained the circumstances surrounding his exit.

“I wish I could have stayed, I really wanted to stay. At the moment of signing the contract, which was the first week in November 2015, I went to the Managing Director at that time that I have a prior commitment in July 2016 and he said by that time, the league would have been over because the league starts by end of December 2015, so, we will deal with it when the time comes and we never thought that was going to be a problem, but the start of the league was delayed, so we have come to a point where I wouldn’t be available for 25 days and I cannot change what I have already committed to prior to me signing the contract, and I didn’t want to put Hearts of Oak in that situation, I wish I could have stayed but we have two great assistant coaches”, he stated.

Asked if he knew why Hearts did not accept the arrangement to allow him finish his course and return to the club, Kenichi said: “I cannot tell the reason, but I respect the club’s decision and the fact is I won’t be here for 25 days and five games and that is not something that I, or the club predicted at the moment of the signing. Obviously, change of the league calendar had impact. Someone says its only 25 days and five games but someone also says it’s too many so it could have gone either way and I respect what the club have decided”.

Kenichi described the supporters of Hearts of Oak as fantastic, noting that he was on his way to taking Hearts of Oak back to its glorious days.

“The supporters have been fantastic, they have been great, and I know they are craving to have success. The club that won the continental championships have not won anything since 2009 and they want to go back to those days where they were champions everywhere they went. I think we were on our way to get there. I am not saying I guarantee we would be there by the end of this season, it’s possible, it would have been possible. If it’s not, it would have been possible next season, but we were surely on our way to going back to where this club was once before, so I understand and had a very emotional attachment to all the club supporters. We won not only at home but away matches and they were there in their numbers…”

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