Don Bortey pleads for chance to justify inclusion in Kotoko

Ex-Hearts of Oak midfielder Bernard Dong Bortey is pleading for an opportunity to justify his inclusion with Ghanaian champions Asante Kotoko after seeing out his six-month deal with Equatorial Guinea giants FC Panthers.

The experienced attacker, now 32, has taken chance to finally apologize to the Porcupine Warriors over how he ditched the side at the last minute over a decade ago to sign for arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak.

In 2011, he embarked on an attempt to get the opportunity to don the red jersey by openly placing a come-and-get-me plea but that fell on deaf ears and he is back again offering this apology: “I will like to take this opportunity to first apologize for what happened between myself and Kotoko in years past. Although I felt I did no wrong at the time, I believe the incident has really had a toll on me and has blocked my chance of getting to play for the club. I am their son; I want to play and take that pain I caused them away,” Dong Bortey told Kumasi-based Kessben FM on Wednesday.

The then Herbert Mensah-led Kotoko management had brought the high-flying Dong Bortey to Kumasi after a gentleman’s agreement with his club Tema GHAPOHA FC and had him train with the club for a couple of days without first completing his deal but were outsmarted by rivals Hearts of Oak who managed to secure his registration card from the club.

“I was in Kumasi living with Godwin Ablordey when my mother called questioning me why I should play for Kotoko, adding that my wife had delivered, which made me leave for Accra. By the time I reached Accra, Hearts executives including Harry Zakkour, Steve Akwetey and Thomas Okine had gone in for my card which made it impossible for me to return to Kumasi,” Bortey narrated in a previous interview years ago.

The former Ghana youth international now says he is ready to justify his inclusion in the team, noting that if he trains, he would recapture some of his old form back.

“I have the talent and I know that if you train well, you will be in form. I have returned after my six-month contract in Equatorial Guinea and I believe if I’m given the opportunity to train for about a month, everybody will see the Dong Bortey they know.

“I’m not perfect; if they ask me to come and justify myself for them to assess my form, I will gladly take the opportunity for the coach to observe me,” he said.