First I would like to make some corrections to my last post. I have now learned that Dolphin FC-striker John Huan signed for Kano Pillars FC before the new season. I have also learned that Haruna Babalo, that I wrote would be a key player for Gombe United FC this season, actually played for Niger Tornadoes FC in the middle of 2009-2010. Apparently he is not with Gombe United FC this season. Fred Okwara was reportedly a new player for Dolphin FC but this turns out to be false. Okwara is still with Enugu Rangers FC and actually scored yesterday in Round 1 of the Nigerian Premier League 2010-2011. I can also confirm that Mannir Ubale is the new striker of Kano Pillars FC. Ubale could very well be a great replacement for Ahmadu Musa. Rabiu Yusuf Baita (born 28.08.1984), the right-winger from Wikki Tourists FC, has signed for Kaduna United FC.
LOBI STARS FC
Another team who is difficult to find information about. I guess the major question for Lobi Stars FC is whether they manage to keep their two star players, Peter Terna Suswam and Moses Bunde . Suswam is a right-back or defensive midfielder, born 05.09.1991. His performances in 2009-2010 has made him a fringe player with the Super Eagles. Talented striker Moses Bunde was a sensation last season and is also considered for the Super Eagles. Both players have apparently been training with Vitoria Setubal from Portugal during the last couple of months. Experienced defender John Agbawu is back with Lobi Stars FC and will strengthen the defense, that will sorely miss central defender James Okwosah that went to Enugu Rangers International FC.
NIGER TORNADOES FC
Musa Abdullahi - forward
David Abidoye – forward – born 23.11.1987 – signed from Shooting Stars FC.
Kamoru Jimoh – defender – formerly of Bendel Insurance FC.
Otu Oze Shehu
Okiki Tawose – goalkeeper
Abidoye and Jimoh are only two of 20 new players this season. It is still uncertain where Eugene Salami, last season’s top goalscorer, will be playing this season. However, it seems highly unlikely that it will be rather modest side Niger Tornadoes FC. Promise Onuh, central defender and fringe player for the Super Eagles, has joined Sunshine Stars FC. Former star of Nigeria U-20, Samuel Tswanya, has also left the club. Some reports state that his former teammate at Nigeria U-20, Matthew Origoya Edile (born 06.12.1990) is considering a move to Tornadoes. In any case, my guess is that this will be a tough season for Niger Tornadoes.
OCEAN BOYS FC
Attacking midfielder Ayo Saka, that I wrote about on 06.11.2010, is still the big star at Ocean Boys. He could however be challenged by new signing Andrew Michael (born 04.08.1992), the attacker from Bayelsa United FC. Michael is strong and speedy and can shoot with both feet. Olufemi Thomas (born 05.08.1989) will probably be first choice as goalkeeper, but Iboro Akpakpan is a strong contender as well. Charles Omokaro (born 25.11.1984) is one of the more experienced strikers and will be hoping for more goals than the few he scored in 2009-2010.
PLATEAU UNITED FC
George Akpabio - forward
Dubem Awaziem – signed from Mighty Jets FC.
Edward Bewarang – signed from Gombe United FC.
Solomon Bitrus – midfielder – signed from Dolphins FC.
Ejike Ebekwe – signed from Lobi Stars FC.
Tochukwu Edom / Esom – signed from Anambra Pillars FC.
Stanley Erudge – signed from Anambra Pillars FC.
Sele George – central midfielder – signed from Bayelsa United FC.
Peter Gyang – forward – signed from Wikki Tourists FC.
Uche Illo – signed from Mighty Jets FC.
Abdul Issah – goalkeeper – signed from Gombe United FC.
Ibrahim Kabiru – midfielder / winger – signed from Enyimba FC.
Ahmed Mohammed – formerly of AmaZulu from South Africa.
Sale Mohammed – signed from Mighty Jets FC.
Dimka Monayan – central defender – signed from Gombe United FC.
George Moses – signed from UNICEM Rovers FC.
Obinna Nwokolo – central defender – born 27.05.1983 – signed from Sunshine Stars FC.
Emma Odafe – signed from First Bank FC.
Olayinka Olaniyi – midfielder
Abayomi Olorunda – goalkeeper – signed from Sharks FC.
Ajibade Omolade – left-back – born 12.06.1984.
Eze Wobike / Eze Nwabike – signed from Sharks FC.
ENUGU RANGERS INTERNATIONAL FC
Uzochukwu Anorue – signed from Samba FC.
Godwin Ayalogu – goalkeeper.
Nonso Elias – midfielder / forward.
Emeka Eze – midfielder – born 22.12.1992 – signed from FC Internazionale Enugu.
Austin Iyangbe – defender – born 04.08.1982.
Musa Najare – left-back.
John Nnam – right-back / right-winger – born 15.12.1986.
Uche Nwofor – forward – born 28.02.1989 – signed from Anambra Pillars FC / Shooting Stars FC.
Ebele Obi – goalkeeper.
Henry Obiekwu – defender.
Peter Obiorah – forward.
Mine Ojo – left-back.
Uche Okafor – goalkeeper – formerly of Kaduna United FC.
Francis Okammor – central defender – born 14.08.1982
Fred Okwara – forward – born 19.03.1989.
James Okwosah – central defender – signed from Lobi Stars FC.
Uwadiegwu Ugwu – defender.
Ugonna Uzochukwu - signed from Anambra Pillars FC
Ejike Uzoenyi – left-winger.
Akeem Yakubu – signed from Bayelsa United FC.
Several players have been linked with Rangers before the season. Talented goalkeeper Anthony Chinedu Udeh apparently chose Heartland FC. Uche Oguchi, the right-back, apparently chose to stay with Dolphins FC. According to several sources, former Ocean Boys-player John Aguda and Uche Oguchukwu, most likely the former Gabros International FC-player, are both ready for the club. Other fresh reports state that Ghanaian playmaker Charles Asampong Taylor (born 14.07.1981) and attacker Nduka Ozokwo (born 25.12.1988 ) that played for Boluspor in Turkey at the end of 2009-2010, has returned to the club. None of the above is confirmed yet. Apparently, Rangers will sign the experienced striker Victor Ezeji (born 09.06.1981) from Sharks FC in January. Several players have left and the most important are former Tunisia-professional Charles Negedu, the versatile Darlington Ihejiene, goalkeeper Terhemen Akombo and defender Andrew Nwodu.
SHARKS FC PORT HARCOURT
Sharks FC has apparently signed former FC Internazionale Enugu-defender Onuabuchi Nwodo (born 18.06.1991). Nwodo was actually part of the youth team of Beitar Jerusalem (Israel) in early 2010. Key-players Pape Ousmane Sané (central defender from Senegal) and midfielder Kola Anubi (born 24.03.1987) will probably stay for another season despite interest from several clubs. Victor Ezeji (born 09.06.1981), their star striker, wants to leave the club and is set for a move to Enugu Rangers. Sharks FC has performed well in the so-called WAFU-cup in the last couple of months and based on these matches some of the players that will have a good season include wingers Ebitimi Agogu and Gomo Onduku, striker Bright Ejike, that I wrote about on 10.10.2010 and goalkeeper Okiemute Odah. Other players that are apparently still with the club include forward Thankgod Amaefule (born 16.12.1984), talented and versatile Fortune Chukwudi (born 18.11.1992), fast striker Gift Ibibo, 28 year old central defender Godwin Mba, midfielder Mamaya Yusuf, defender Odinga Odinga (born 13.05.1985), prodigy Terry Envoh (born 12.12.1992) and talented left-back Juwon Oshaniwa.
SHOOTING STARS FC
Strikers Fuad Gbolahan Salami (born 15.04.1991 – signed from Sunshine Stars FC) and target man Kabiru Alausa, signed from Heartland FC, is arguably the biggest signings of the season for Shooting Stars FC. The burly Salami actually scored two goals yesterday against his former club. Other signings include attackers Seun Falodun (born 16.09.1988) and Sunday Adeyemi, both formerly of Sunshine Stars FC and Enyimba FC, and both regarded as big talents some years ago. Yusuf Babatunde, the attacking midfielder formerly of Sunshine Stars FC and Kwara United FC and Tunde Daniel, the injury-plagued striker, formerly of Sunshine Stars FC, should also be good signings. When it comes to retained players, much is expected from Timothy Idogbe, that was somewhat disappointing last season. Shooting Stars FC has worked hard to secure the services of attacking midfielder Henry Uche from Enyimba FC, but has so far failed. It is also in the blue whether Shooting Stars FC has signed Abel Ebifemi from Warri Wolves (played for Gateway FC in 2009-2010) and Richard Amadi from Sharks FC. Some sources also reports that Shooting Stars FC signed goalkeeper Afeso Attah from Sunshine Stars FC, but he has apparently been named in the squad of Dolphins FC. Attacker Meshack Chukwubuikem, that was a regular last season, has left the club. Attacker David Abidoye (born 23.11.1987) joined Niger Tornadoes FC.
SUNSHINE STARS FC
Target-man Ukeyima Akombo (born 25.11.1987) from Kwara United FC should become a good signing. He actually scored yesterday in his debut. Also the defense looks strengthened. Promise Onuh, central defender and fringe player for the Super Eagles, has joined from Niger Tornadoes FC and Ofem Inah is the new right-back from Enyimba FC. A quality player at this level. However, Monday Osagie, the central defender from Enugu Rangers, apparently chose Kwara United FC instead of Sunshine Stars FC. Sunshine Stars also failed to sign goalkeeper Akpan Bassey, who chose Heartland FC. The talented Fuad Gbolahan Salami, that joined Shooting Stars FC, will be missed. As far as I know, key-players Abe Oluwashina Sunday (born 04.04.1991), striker Ibrahim Abubakar Babale and captain Godfrey Oboabona are still with the club.
WARRI WOLVES FC
Central defender Ike Thankgod (born 04.04.1985), signed from Heartland FC, will lead the defense. A brilliant signing for the club. Akinsola Busari (born 10.03.1988), a full international player from Togo, will probably be his partner. The lanky defender was signed from Enugu Rangers. Paul Onobi is a new player from Niger Tornadoes FC. Emmanuel Omodiagbe (born 19.10.1985) is signed from Heartland FC and will probably be the defensive half of a midfield-duo together with talented playmaker Michael Okoye (born in 1991). The creative midfielder Sunday Mba (born 28.11.1988), signed from Dolphins FC, also wants playing time. The goalkeepers are the same as last season, fringe player of the Super Eagles Chigozie Agbim (born in 1984) and Ambruse Vanzekin (born 14.07.1986). Wolves will miss playmaker Fegor Ogude that joined Norwegian side Vålerenga IF. I guess the big question this season will be: who will score the goals? Ekigho Ehiosun is still with the club and is their top striker. The talented Oke Akpoveta could head for big things, undoubtedly striker for the future. Wolves tried to sign Junior Osagie from Enyimba FC but have apparently failed.
ZAMFARA UNITED FC
Traditionally the hardest club to find information about, and this season is no exception. Austin Kadiri, their central defender, is the star player and is apparently still with the club. Kadiri has lost his defensive colleague Obinna David to Dolphins FC. Hopefully former Egypt-professional Ghazali Mohammed (born 20.05.1985) is still with the club.