Asante Kotoko have engaged the services of ex-Portugal international defender Pedro Manuel Regateiro Venâncio.
The former centre-back – who played club football at the topmost level for Sporting CP and Boavista FC – joins the Porcupine Warriors’ backroom as one of five assistants to new head coach and compatriot Mariano Barreto.
Pedro Venâncio, as he is widely known, takes up the role of a physical trainer/injury prevention coach on a one-and-a-half-year contract just as his boss Barreto.
The ‘injury prevention coach’ title comes across as an interesting one as the 57-year-old career was curtailed at 30 due to knee problems.
Injury forced Venâncio to end his international career at 21 caps for Portugal. He had been selected for the 1986 Fifa World Cup but had to quit before the tournament in Mexico kicked off.
In February 2019, Venâncio told Lusa in an interview that he still lives in pain from the injuries which ended his career 27 years ago.
“Walking costs me, I already walk on foot with some difficulty, and I know that from now on it is always getting worse. I have already tried to go to a medical board to put a prosthesis on me, which I know is what awaits me, but they say ‘I am still very young and there are risks’. So what I am told is to endure as long as possible while I have some quality of life”, he said, with his head down.
“I can say that I am a person constantly in pain. There is no day when I get up and do not feel pain. There are days when pain is bearable, but in others, it costs more to bear,” Venâncio added.
It is expected Pedro Venâncio will use his experience to help Kotoko whose first half of the 2020/21 season has been challenged by injuries to several key players.
Mariano Barreto, the new Kotoko trainer has already arrived in Ghana with Bruno Manuel Vicente who will work as the first assistant coach and video analyst. Johnson Smith, Abdulai Gazale and Najahu Issah complete the local contingent of the new Kotoko technical team.