As a vibrant company engaged in Wood Processing located deep in the middle belt of the Western Region, Samartex Timber & Plywood Company came into being as a result of the divestiture of the African Timber & Plywood Company, Ghana, in May 1995.
With then a working population of over 3,000 workers, the Board of Directors and Management of Samartex Company in conjunction with the Workers Union decided to ignite the passion of the game to the workers and the community at large as a social responsibility obligation to entertain the entire community where the workers reside.
So in early 1995, management of Samartex company registered Samartex as a football club to participate in the then 3rd Division of the Western Region qualifying at once for the 2nd Division in July 1996.
The Management team of the club at that time included Messrs Azaleko as Chairman, Michael Abbaw, Sarfo Asiamah and Alex O. Eshun on the fringes as the Secretary. The junior staff union secretary, late Budu Kumi was the Coach who chalked this magnificent feat.
Some of the players who played in the team are Goalkeeper Michael Addo, Robert Kwakye, Kwame Sampson, Kwame Gyebi, Abdulai, Takyi Edwin Appiah and Kweku Appiah among others. It must be emphasized that all these players were full time employees of the company and only went for training only after they had closed from work.
Then came the enigmatic Thomas Hirsch, a German, who was a true addict of the beautiful game and had a vision to take the team a step further the ladder of association football in Ghana . Thomas took over the running of the team as the Chief Executive Officer and formed a team to run the club in a professional way.
He recruited a new coach by name Abdul Tahir Salaami who was then coaching Mine Stars of Prestea to take over as the head of the Technical Team. He then named Anthony Wilson, the crafty old man who was also the Plymill manager as the Chairman for the team, Blessed Simpson Danquah, teacher, as the Welfare Officer and Alex O. Eshun as the substantive Secretary.
Skeletal as the executives seem to be, it had broad consultations with various stakeholders of the football fraternity and in no time the name Football Club Samartex 1996 was chosen as the official name of the club and the club started making waves in the 2nd Division League competing with the likes of Bibiani Goldstars, Prestea Mines Stars, Bogoso National, Tarkwa Real United, Anokor Rangers, Sefwiman United among other crack teams for qualification into the more prestigious Division One League. The motto of the club UNITY and VICTORY was chosen by Mr. Anthony Wilson and was promptly accepted by management of Samartex Company.
One could see the uniqueness of Samartex in all its doing including its outfit training vests and jerseys, footballs, boots, gym boots among others which were all imported from Germany to support the club. Therefore, in any engagement with another club, one would not need to ask to know which team was Samartex, playing in its famous Green & White colours chosen by Thomas Hirsch to depict the greens of the forest, our main source of raw materials.
Samartex competed in the very difficult Division Two league for about 3 years until the 1999/2000 season when it went to the lion’s den of Bogoso National and beat them by a lone goal albeit in an abortive match, which result had to be determined by the Disciplinary Committee of the Regional Football Association of the Western Region when the referee, the late Cosmos Oteng of Asankrangwa was brutally assaulted midway through the match resulting in the abrupt end of the game. In actual fact, the beatings was so much that only four (4) players of Samartex remained on the pitch with their Secretary Alex O. Eshun. Indeed all the other players had to run for their dear lives to the Police Station. It was a horrific sight to behold.
THE LEADING WOOD PROCESSING COMPANY
Football Club Samartex met Anorkor Rangers of Abuadzie in Takoradi at the Prestea Scotts Park and defeated them by 2 goals to one in a titanic final match for qualification to the National Division One League, Zone 2 with the goals scored by Azumah Musah (late) and Abeiku Benson. A zone that comprised crack traditional teams like Sekondi Eleven Wise, Tarkwa Real United, Cape Coast Venomous Vipers, Mine Stars , Neoplan Stars, Kumasi Cornerstone, Adansiman, Bibiani Goldstars.
The technical head that masterminded this team was Coach Anthony Mensah, yet another astute former coach of Prestea Mines Stars, and arguably the most successful coach of Fc Samartex to date, no wonder that Mines Stars regarded Samartex as ‘enemy’ number one doing all it could to assert its authority over us as they are one of the oldest clubs in the country, but to no avail.
Whilst playing in the 2nd Division league, Samartex engaged some elite clubs in the Premier League including Great Olympics, Boafoakwa Tano, Brong Ahafo United, Cape Coast Dwarfs, Sekondi Hasaacas, Goldfields Fc now Ashantigold among others. It was after Samartex had beaten Great Olympics by 2 goals to 1 in an entertaining friendly match at Samreboi that in the write up which appeared in the Graphic Sports, the Secretary Alex O. Eshun conned the name ‘TIMBER GIANTS’ to counter that of the WONDER CLUB, Accra Great Olympics, and, the name has since come to stay.
During all these years, the club was being used as an entertainment sort of thing for the workers, majority of whom stayed in the forest operational areas and came to the Samreboi Township where the factory is located to visit their families and take some rest. Even in that mode, management of the company decided to erect a standard inner perimeter fence for the playing Field plus an outer Wooden Wall for the entire Park.
In 2001, management of Samartex through the wisdom of Thomas Hirsch decided to expand the management base of the club and in came Richard Duah Nsenkyire, who was then the Production Manager of the company. Then, the idea of joining the elites of Ghana football was mooted in one of our meetings. That was immediately after we had qualified for the Division One League.
Having secured a very lucrative sponsorship deal with Allied Oil Company Limited, management of Samartex went for decorated Coach, Herbert Addo (late) to head the Technical Team to be assisted by Coach Abdallah , that was a decision taken as a last resort when we couldn’t contract Coach Afranie (also late) for various reasons. However, things were not to be as for the 2 years that he was in charge we failed to glitter contrary to our dreams.
From the end of the 2005/06 Season, management of Samartex brought back Coach Anthony Mensah again to take over the team and we glittered again by qualifying to the Middle League three (3) times only to fall at the penultimate hurdle. It must be emphasized that all the four (4) Middle league appearance of the team has been orchestrated by Coach Anthony Mensah, even though he failed to take us to the Premier level.
Samartex has a fantastic infrastructure which could be the envy of any club in Ghana. Apart from our standard stadium with all the requisite amenities including a Dressing Room, Inner and Outer Perimeter, as well as roofed sitting sheds for our spectators, management of Samartex Company in 2004 built a multi complex building of 26 rooms for the players with toilets and baths. They also built another block containing a Dining Hall, Gym, TV Room, Conference Room, Kitchen and two (2) offices for the technical team. This building was commissioned by the Minister of Youth of Sports, Mr. Kojo Baah Wiredu (Late) assisted by Kasapreko Kwame Basanyin III , Omanhene of Wasa Amenfi Traditional Area on the 15th of May, 2004.
Major achievements includes eliminating Accra Hearts of Oak in the MTN / FA Cup in 2014 via penalty shootout under head Coach Bessa Zola at the Samartex Park and reaching at least the Round of 16 stage of this competition every time we participated missing only one season as we could not participate for various reasons. Samartex also went to the Dansoman Park in Accra to defeat Liberty Professionals in an MTN/FA Cup competition under the young and exuberant head Coach, Nassam Abubakar. We have met and beaten almost all the big teams in Ghana except Asante Kotoko , who we have not met in any competitive match to date. We also won the 1st edition of the Western Region Invitational Tournament in 2019 beating premier side, Elmina Sharks in the Final match.
Our major black spot has been our relegation to Division 2 in 2011/12 Season for which we quickly qualified back to the Division One through the energetic Coach Nassam Abubakar after he has replaced Anthony Mensah at the helm of affairs not losing a single match throughout the season into the Middle league at Sekondi where we easily beat all that we came across.
Samartex today is more structured under the leadership of the enigmatic Managing Director, Mr. Richard Nsenkyire We have a Board of Directors and a Management Team to run the day to day affairs of the club with the fan base increasing by the day and the Wasa Amenfi area where the team is located and the Aowing Suaman Traditional Areas all contributing their quota to propel the team to its rightful place in the Premiership Division.
The Technical Team has also been beefed for the first time with a goalkeeper’s trainer and another assistant coach to increase the input of technical ideas to the players.
Notable players who have donned the green and white jerseys of the Timber Giants includes Armah Senegal, Bernard Don Bortey both of Hearts of Oak fame, Keeper Michael Addo, Asamoah Makwekwe of Kotoko fame among others.
Fc Samartex is now a household name in Ghana football and with the huge injection of funds and resources into the team by the Managing Director of the company, it won’t be long when we will be smiling all the way to the premiership with a little luck on our side through God’s blessings.