Former Hearts of Oak defender, Daniel “Kofi Gari” Coleman has finally revealed why he did an “Italian job” job on 2007/2008 Ghana Premier League top scorer Eric Bekoe.
On Sunday, March 9, 2008, Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko faced off in a match day 12 outstanding league fixture at the Accra Sports Stadium. Eric Bekoe by then was the hottest product in league and was a handful for every club he faced.
Knowing how dangerous Eric Bekoe was, Dan Coleman who was known for his aggressive style of play and was at the heart of the Hearts of Oak defense policed Eric Bekoe throughout the match.
Dan Coleman never took an eye off Bekoe or gave him a breathing space. Coleman man marked him till the extent that he followed Bekoe to the touchline when Coach Bashir Hayford called him for tactical instructions.
The game after 90 minutes ended scoreless, with Eric Bekoe getting less touches on the ball.
The former Asante Kotoko striker recently divulged that he collapsed after the game having received tough tackles from Dan Coleman.
“When the Coleman issue happened, where he marked me throughout the game, I collapsed. I was even talking to my dad so before I realized I was surrounded by so many people. I was like Nii Adjei let’s go but he said you almost died but for God’s intervention”, Bekoe said on Sports Check
However, Coleman in an interview with Don Summer of Angel FM in Kumasi explained why he did an Italian job on Eric Bekoe, he stated that he intended to use the Kotoko striker to rediscover his sinking form.
“In fact when the season started I was not playing for Hearts because I had some internal wrangling with them. But when we were about to play Kotoko in the league, Tommy Okine came to me and said, Coleman, this is your match so start training”, Coleman told Angel FM.
“Bekoe was on top form at the time and so, the ideology was that if I’m able to marked him well my name will get to the public space again. So marking Bekoe throughout the game was not any coach idea.
“Whiles I was not playing in the league I was watching him and I realized his scoring abilities was superb. That is why I marshalled him to rediscover my form”, he added.
The return leg at the Baba Yara sports stadium ended 3-3 with Bekoe this time getting on the scoresheet, however Coleman didn’t feature in the game as he wasn’t available.