The 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season will kick off on the 1st December. All the league giants are bracing up to the task. Stadiums are getting renovated; teams are getting reinforced and, of course, managers are moving in and out. Indeed, the fans cant wait for the actions.
As usual, this column gives you updates in the league. Below are the current happenings.
After veteran manager, Abdul Maikaba, left the club after the expiration of his contract to take up the Plateau United’s job, the management on Monday, 5th November unveiled a new manager in person of Raphael Everton for the new season.
The Promise Keepers hope to keep their promise high with the foreign manager. Moreover, Everton isnt too foreign to the league as he has once handled both Abia Warriors and Ifeanyiubah. Everton won for Ifeanyiubah the Aiteo cup in 2016.
‘I am very happy to come back to Nigeria again and Akwa united is a big tean in Nigeria. So I am hapoy to join them. Thanks to all Nigerians’. The Brazilian said.
‘… It’s so easy fir me to come here. I have good players and good management and good field that makes it easier for me to do my job and I know I will suceed’. He added.
Abdul Maikaba took up the Plateau United job after the expiration of his contract with Akwa United last season. He led Akwa United to second position in the league last season barely a year after winning the Federation Cup for the same team but he opted against renewing his contract with the Promise Keepers to join Plateau United.
Maikaba immediately hit the ground running with rounds of actions and activities in engaging his players in preparation for the new season. The Peace Boys are due to travel to Abuja early next week for the next phase of their preparations in closed camping for the start of the new season as disclosed
He revealed that there won’t be a need for wholesome changes to the squad that featured last season and that he will only strengthen the team. Friendly and warm up games will also be organized in due courses.
However, reports got to us that Plateau United has released 4 players from last season’s squad and added 8 new players.
“I told the management of the team that I will like to see all the players train for me to assess them and from there I will pick those I am comfortable with. The players have all shown to me that they deserve to be in the team. They played and trained with all they had and from what I have seen I know that I have a team to start something good with”. Maikaba told Goal.com.
The newly appointed tactician of the Ikon Allah Boys, Bernard Ogbe, has revealed that he won’t be compromised in his attempt raise a formidable team ahead of the coming season.
Goal reported that ‘Ogbe returned to the same club he coached some seasons back two weeks ago and he has started the task of rebuilding a team that can compete with the rest of the team in the Nigeria Professional Football League and in the Federation Cup too’.
Report gathering points to the fact that about 12 players have been released and 15 new ones recruited. The former Mighty jets coach assured the players in the team and those that are training with them with a view to joining to continue to put in their very best as it is his determination to pick players only on merit alone.
“We have started work and have intensified our build-up to the start of the season. We have been able to settle down for business,” Ogbe told Goal.
“I have told players that are indolent and not open to corrections to find a new club because it won’t be entertained at Tornadoes. We have made some adjustments to the team and have dropped some players while some new ones that we know too well are coming to replace them.
The Harmony Boys tacticia, Abubakar Bala, has stressed that he made wholesome changes to the playing staff to ensure that they are better than last season. Stating that he does not want the team to struggle like the previous season, only 13 players were retained from last season’s squad.
The Harmony Boys were in the relegation zone most part of the first round last league season before Bala replaced John Obuh and he was able to steady the team to top-flight safety – – Goal.com
“It is as if we are starting on a clean slate because I have opted for players that can help me achieve my objective at Kwara United unlike last season when I made use of players that were not up to my standard,” Bala told Goal.
“I joined the club at a time when it was difficult to bring in new players but I had to manage what I got and we were able to escape to relegation. We have the whole preseason to ourselves and we have the type of players that we require to get the job done.
By Ola-lawal M.D.