Ghanaian 'giants', Asante Kotoko, have become the latest addition to Saints' International Club Partnership programme.
Based in the Ashanti Regio of Ghana, 'The Porcupine Warriors' will now work with Saints over the coming years on a number of on and off field objectives.
Speaking about the announcement, CEO of Asante Kotoko, Nana Yaw Amponsah, said, "This partnership enables us to plug Asante Kotoko into Southampton in such a way that Kotoko functions like Southampton."
He continued, "Kotoko would have everything Southampton has but to a level that reflects our different budgets. I believe that with the expertise and resources available at Southampton, we can tap into this and develop our setup to look and feel professional like Saints.”
Hampshire's premier Club will share industry-leading coaching expertise, provide year-round remote support, oversee Academy staff exchange visits between the UK and Ghana, host UK Player Development camps and collaborate on the development of Asante Kotoko's commercial and operational strategy.
The Kumasi based Club have been champions of the Premier League a record 23 times, won the CAF (Confederation of African Football) Champions League twice and were also named the African 'club of the century' by International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS).
Mark Abrahams, Director of Business and Community Development at Saints, commented "During these challenging times we’re delighted to have agreed a long-term partnership to work with Asante Kotoko."
"Nana Yaw has a clear vision for Asante Kotoko to be a self-sustainable football club both on and off the pitch. We look forward to working with him and his team to support their development.”
Asante Kotoko become Saints first professional club partnership in Africa, adding to a range of partners across North America, the Middle East, Australia and Japan.
On the pitch, Saints currently have Ghanaian representation in their squad, thanks to the summer arrival of Mohammed Salisu. However, due to several injuries, the former Real Valladolid player is still waiting to make his debut for the Club.
Article by Ben Stanfield