Posted by: westafricanfootball | 07/11/2010

PLAYER INFORMATION AND SQUADS – NIGERIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2010-2011 (PART ONE)

The Nigerian Premier League 2010-2011 started this weekend. As always, it is difficult to find correct squads and player information. In this post, that I will probably edit a couple of times this week, I will try to publish squad lists and player information, based on hundreds of articles gathered the last couple of months as well as my own statistics.

BUKOLA BABES FC

Little is known about the newly promoted Bukola Babes FC. According to SuperSport, Seun Sogbesan and Obi Bassey, are two of their key players, which could very well be true. Apparently, Bukola Babes FC is a team consisting of young, talented but inexperienced players.

CROWN FC

Little is known about the newly promoted Crown FC. According to SuperSport, Ahmed Giwa (member of Nigeria U-20 in May 2009), Ayo Babalola and Seun Akinyemi (midfielder) are three of their key players, which could very well be true. However, from my point of view, the most interesting player of Crown FC is talented striker Harrison Egbune, who is currently a member of Nigeria U-20 – the Flying Eagles. Apparently, Egbune also played for Nigeria U-17 in September. He is blessed with an excellent left-foot according to some reports.

DOLPHINS FC

Squad 2010-2011

Husseini Adaji – left-back

Abbas Akanji – midfielder – formerly of Akwa United FC.

Owusu Addai (GHA) – forward

Mutiu Adeleke Adegoke – left wing-back – born 10.02.1984

Abduljelil Ajagun – forward – born 10.02.1993

Derick Amadi – forward – born 10.03.1984

Afeso Attah – goalkeeper – signed from Sunshine Stars FC.

Kola Awe – central defender / right-back – signed from Bayelsa United FC

Victor Babayaro – right-back

Kennedy Chinwo – defender / right-back – born 29.12.1985 – signed from Heartland FC

Obinna David – defender – signed from Zamfara United FC

Osita Echendu – defender – born 04.02.1987

Captain Ejindu – forward

Emma Godwin – central defender – born 11.11.1982

Daddy Maurice – central midfielder

Victor Michael – forward – signed from Gombe United FC.

Prince Nnamdi – forward – born 28.01.1992

Emma Nwachi – forward – born 12.10.1986

Udo Ochiogu – goalkeeper

Uche Oguchi – right-back – born 19.09.1987

Omoh Ojabu – attacking midfielder / forward – born 14.12.1992

Tochukwu Okoli – defender central

Fred Okwara – forward – born 19.03.1989 – signed from Enugu Rangers International FC

Johnson Olewezi – midfielder / winger – born 20.12.1987 – signed from Kwara United FC

Chidi Osuchukwu – forward – born 16.02.1990

Sunday Rotimi – goalkeeper – born 08.03.1980

Mike Simon – defender

Owazuoke Wobo – midfielder – unattached but a former player of Dolphins.

Bilamo Yabrifa

Attacking midfielder Edward Weng (Kwara United FC) and Uche Okaro (Gateway FC) have been training with Dolphins but have apparently not been signed. According to some sources, Dolphins signed Abdulrasheed Ajagun, a right-winger born 27.05.1983, from Niger Tornadoes FC. This is not confirmed. Several players have left Dolphins, the most important being midfielder Jonah Abutu, strikers John Huan, Obinna Amakor and Danjuma Abdullahi (who signed for JUTH FC) and playmaker Sunday Mba.

ENYIMBA FC

As far as I known, the current champions has not published a squad-list at the time of writing. However, some information has been found. Apparently Enyimba FC has not signed a lot of new established players, but has blended their quality players from 2009-2010 with some new talents. According to SuperSport, some of these are Taye Ola, apparently a former member of Nigeria U-17, the Golden Eaglets and Ahmed Suleiman, signed from UNICEM Rovers FC, a second division side from Calabar. Suleiman impressed in the 2010 Federations Cup earlier this year, scoring against Kwara United FC.

In Chijioke Ejiogu (born 22.11.1984), Enyimba has one of the best goalkeepers in the local league. However, last season he was strongly challenged by former Sharks-custodian John Lawrence. Enyimba actually has three defenders with the last name “Anyanwu”; Emmanuel Anyanwu, Kenneth Anyanwu and Nnaemeka Anyanwu (born 21.10.1988). The last couple of months, they have all been named in different squads for the Super Eagles – the national team of Nigeria. Valentine Nwabili is their top-performer at left-back. Nwabili made his full international debut for Nigeria against South Korea on 11.08.2010. Nwabili has a cultured left-foot and is well-known for his overlapping runs and tremendous work-rate. Nwabili has previously played for Espérance Sportive de Tunis from the Tunisian capital. Central defender or defensive midfielder Musa Mustapha is a tall, talented player who I personally think could become a star in the coming years.

Enyimba FC has a lot of brilliant midfielders in their squad and I think comet Eneji Otekpa (born 05.02.1989), right-winger / playmaker Josiah Maduabuchi (born in 1988) and Rasheed Olabiyi (20 years old in October 2010) are most interesting for scouts. Ajani Ibrahim (born 05.03.1987), Cletus Itodo (born in 1984) and Peter Onoja are also worth mentioning.

I guess one of the shocks for fans of Enyimba FC is the rumor regarding last season’s top goalscorer Osamudiamen “Osas” Idehen (born 13.05.1990). According Vietnam Football, Idehen is on his way to Vietnam and the club Vicem Hai Phong. If this becomes reality, he will be sorely missed. Idehen is known for his tireless running. He recently made his way into the Super Eagles, making his debut in a friendly on 03.03.2010 against the Democratic Republic of Congo, scoring two goals. Idehen was invited for trials with Brøndby from Denmark earlier this year. To boost the attack, Enyimba FC apparently tried to sign Dolphins-striker Captain Ejindu and Bayelsa United-striker Stanley Ohawuchi (born 27.05.1990) before the season. As far as I know, Ejindu is still with Dolphins while the whereabouts of petit striker Ohawuchi are unknown. Talented striker Magnus Iwuoha could very well get a lot of playing time and possibly have a breakthrough this season. Unsettled striker Junior Osagie (born 15.01.1985) apparently wants to leave the club, but if he stays he is arguably good enough for double figures. Perhaps injury-plagued stiker Uche Kalu will find his scoring boots this season?

When it comes to players that left, it is confirmed that tall midfielder Reuben Gabriel has signed for rivals Kano Pillars FC. He will be missed. Right-back Ofem Inah has joined Sunshine Stars FC. According to some sources, Philip Auta, Henry Uche and Daddy Bazuaye have all left Enyimba FC but this is not confirmed.  Winger Auta is one of the fastest players in Nigerian football and could very well be heading for bigger clubs outside the country. Midfielder Daddy Bazuaye will soon be 22 years old and has performed well for Enyimba for several seasons. Attacking midfielder Henry Uche has been linked to Shooting Stars FC.

GOMBE UNITED FC

As always it is extremely hard to find player information about Gombe United FC. Apparently the first priority for Gombe United FC has been finding a coach for the new season. According to several reports, Gombe United FC has lost the services of several important players from last season. Striker Victor Michael has joined Dolphins FC, while the trio of Edward Bewarang, Abdul Issah (goalkeeper) and Dimka Monayan (defender) has joined newly promoted Plateau United FC. Based on the information I have gathered, I assume the key players for Gombe United FC will be old guns Alhaji Kwaranga (midfielder, born 28.12.1987), Haruna Babalo (attacker), Bala Manu (attacker, born 19.11.1984), Ifeanyi Okoro (attacking midfielder) and Ahmed Yusuf (goalkeeper).

HEARTLAND FC

Heartland FC, a club that many expect will be a strong contender for the title this season, has made several big name signings before the season. Utility player Chibuzor Okonkwo (born 16.12.1988), fringe player for the Super Eagles, has joined from Bayelsa United FC, and will most likely be a regular at right-back or left-back. The confident goalkeeper Akpan Bassey (born 06.01.1984) is also a new signing from Bayelsa United FC. One of many things that fascinate me about Nigerian football is how the top clubs keep buying goalkeepers, although they seem to have adequate cover. As far as I know, Austin Brown (born 20.04.1983) is still with Heartland and he is considered to be one of the finest goalkeepers in the Nigerian Premier League. Ikechukwu Ezenwa (born 16.10.1988) has been waiting patiently for a chance to establish himself as the regular number one and is undoubtedly one of the best young goalkeepers in the country. Heartland FC has also bought a young, talented goalkeeper from FC Internazionale Enugu, Anthony Chinedu Udeh (born 13.06.1991). He is 193 centimeters and apparently a man for the future. Several players from modest Internazionale Enugu have actually been training with Heartland before the season, including Chimson Aneke, Hamzat Jamiu, Obinna Stephen Nwachukwu (midfielder / winger born 18.01.1992) and Ebele Okolo.

As far as I know, experienced midfielder Damien Udeh will spend the season at Heartland FC. He joined Heartland last season at loan from Enugu Rangers International FC, but apparently wanted to stay with Heartland FC. A quality player at this level.

Strikers Stanley Ohawuchi (born 27.05.1990), Osadebamen “Osas” Okoro and central defender Gege Soriola (born 21.11.1988), all from Bayelsa United FC, have apparently been training with Heartland FC. As far as I know, Ohawuchi has not signed while apparently Okoro and Soriola are part of the Heartland-squad for 2010-2011. Okoro is a striker with an obvious potential and I have been waiting for him to break through at this level. Perhaps this will become his season.

Heartland has lost two important players to Warri Wolves FC, central defender and team captain Ike Thankgod and midfielder Emmanuel Omodiagbe. Rock hard Ike Thankgod will be sorely missed. Winger John Owoeri, a key player last season and Zambian attacker Signs Chibambo, have apparently joined Egyptian sides Ismaily and Al-Masry respectively. According to some reports, both signings take effect from January 2011 and according to trustworthy Egyptian source Filgoal, none of the players are currently part of the squads of their new teams. This could very well imply that Owoeri and Chibambo will be playing for Heartland the first couple of games in the 2010-2011 Nigerian Premier League. When they leave, they take a lot of creativity with them. Right-back Kennedy Chinwo has joined Dolphins FC while attacker Chibuzor Ozurumba, sharp-shooting striker Adama Ada Odey and right-winger Adewunmi Adetokunbo have all been released.

Heartland FC has apparently retained the services of several important players from last season. Lanky central defender Emmanuel Olowo (born 14.04.1988) will miss his partner Ike Thankgod, but at the same time this will be Olowo’s chance to shine. I guess the center defensive duo will be formed by either Olowo, Chinedu Efugh, although Efugh has been training with SuperSport United FC, or Kingsley Udoh. Joseph Jackson from Ghana will most likely the the regular left-back, while talented Orji Kalu Okagbue (born 09.01.1992) will have to fight Chibuzor Okonkwo for the right-back. Right-winger Emeka Nwanna (born 25.10.1982) and Bello Musa Kofarmata (born 12.05.1988) will be important for the attack and I personally think the latter will become the top goalscorer of Heartland FC this season.

JUTH FC

Squad 2010-2011

Emma Abah – goalkeeper

Danjuma Abdullahi – forward – signed from Dolphins FC.

Kabiru Abdullahi – signed from Niger Tornadoes.

Danjuma Abubakar

Shehu Abubakar – signed from Akwa United FC.

Willy Adams – signed from a club from Sudan

Ali Aliyu

James Amankwe

Mohammed Babawo

Eze Fidelis – goalkeeper

Iloe Gbunam-Malachy – signed from a club from Sudan

Moshood Kasali Goma – signed from Mighty Jets FC

David Gyang

Hassan Hussein

Thomas Kemeh – signed from Akwa United FC.

Chris Madaki

Adamu Mohammed

Nura Mohammed – goalkeeper – signed from Sunshine Stars FC.

Usman Mohammed

Adamu Musa

Tochukwu Nwankwo – signed from NK Koper of Slovenia.

Sola Olaniyi

Chinedu Onyelonu

Aminu Rambo – signed from Mighty Jets FC.

Kamaldeen Sikiru – central midfielder – born 23.01.1986 – signed from Kwara United FC.

Bright Silas – midfielder – born 19.11.1992

John Sotonye – goalkeeper

Suleiman Tijani – signed from Akwa United FC.

Abdulrazak Wuraola

Victor Yakubu

Musa Yawale

KADUNA UNITED FC

Kaduna United FC started the season yesterday with a 1-1 draw against Kano Pillars FC. Although too early to draw any conclusion, I expect that midfielder Sani Aruwa (born 24.04.1987) and strikers Jude Aneke and Yusuf Siman, who I wrongfully called “Yusuf Simeon” in an earlier post, will become the offensive key players this season. Kaduna United FC has retained the services of central defender and captain Papa Idris (born 27.07.1989), as well as Benjamin Ishaya and goalkeeper Chinedu Agwu. A player that has received some hype before the season is Musa Sulaiman, apparently a fast, stocky left-winger who has played in Algeria and Saudi Arabia. I have still not been able to pinpoint who this player is but hopefully I will. In any case, it remains uncertain if he will be preferred in front of petit left-winger Femi Emmanuel Balogun. Antony Micheal has been mentioned as a key player in some reports but is so far an unknown player to me. Bola Bello (born 28.11.1984) arguably their most important player last season, is injured due to a car accident and but will hopefully be ready to the second half of the season. According to some reports, he has actually left Kaduna United FC but this seems unlikely to me. Apparently, Kaduna United FC has brought 10 new players to the club and coach Maurice Cooreman has apparently stated the following in local media:

“We brought in three players from Ghana, there is Clement who is a midfielder, we recruited a striker from Accra Hearts of Oak FC and we have Suleiman from Burkina Faso, who played with me at Ashanti Kotoko FC in Ghana where he was voted the best player. We also brought in Elvis Kingsley and Emeka Ekwueme, we have two players from Ranch Bees, Anthony who is a left fullback and Mukthar who is a central defender and there is Alaba a striker. We also have a young midfielder, Frank from Kogi United FC and another midfielder Eze from 3SC FC.”

“Clement” is undoubtedly Clement Coffie (born 29.09.1985) from Ghana, formerly of Gamba All Blacks and Ghana U-23. The striker from Hearts of Oak SC is Mahadi Abubakar (born 30.03.1985) who was loaned to FC Medeamaa during 2009-2010. According to fresh reports, the two Ghanaians have yet to be signed, apparently because negotiations broke down. “Suleiman from Burkina Faso” must be veteran goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama (born 29.11.1974), the former full international goalkeeper, who has recently been mostly used as standby for Isaac Amoako. I have not heard that he has signed for Kaduna United FC and apparently Kaduna used an unknown goalkeeper called Richard Ochayi in yesterday’s match. Elvis Kingsley (born 27.05.1982) must be the experienced midfielder from Heartland FC. If so, obviously a great signing. Kingsley is a creative player with speed, skills, excellent passes and a good shot. “Emeka Ekwueme” is actually striker Emeka Akueme (born 17.10.1984) who played for Lobi Stars FC in 2008-2009. Formerly of Enyimba FC and has experience from the African Champions League. The other players mentioned are still unknown to me. Kaduna United FC worked hard to secure the services of Ahmed “Yaro-Yaro” Garba from Kano Pillars FC but has apparently not succeeded.

KANO PILLARS FC

The main question for fans of Kano Pillars FC will undoubtedly be: who will fill the shoes of Ahmadu Musa? Last season’s top goalscorer in Nigeria has joined VVV Venlo in the Netherlands and will be sorely missed. I have personally been waiting for powerful striker Victor Namo (born in 1989) to start scoring regularly in the Nigerian Premier League and I think this could he his season – unless he will be travelling around the world for trials – which often is the case for several exciting prospects of Nigerian football. Other players that can chip in with goals are the burly striker Mohammed Gambo (born 10.03.1988) and energetic, right-sided attacking midfielder Moses Ogaga (born 03.08.1987). Some reports state that Pillars has bought last season’s top goalscorer for Bayelsa United FC, the youthful Mannir Ubale (born 02.07.1991). However, according to Egyptian website Filgoal, usually reliable, he has joined Egyptian side MCDR. A lot is expected this season from attacking midfielder Joseph Atang Thompson (born 14.02.1989). He could very well become the creative force of the Pillars. I also expect a good season from Rabiu Ali, the team’s dead ball specialist, and Bala Mohammed, the experienced defensive midfielder. Abdulwasiu Showemimo, that I wrote about on 27.10.2010, is leading the defense. Apparently he is joined by a new player from Cameroon, Isaac Hélé Hélé, primarily a right-back and a former player of Espérance de Guider.

The first choice goalkeeper of Kano Pillars FC, Haliru Sani, is serving a six-month ban and Joel Theophilus (born 07.04.1988), who started yesterday’s match, will have another chance to establish himself as first choice. Joseph Onwuga, who played for Wikki Tourists FC in 2009-2010, formerly of Enyimba FC, is a new goalkeeper. Unknown Yusuf Mohammed is apparently the fourth goalkeeper in the squad. Towering central midfielder Reuben Gabriel has joined Pillars from Enyimba FC. A great passer of the ball, Gabriel was considered for the Super Eagles in July, and was a regular member of Nigeria B during 2010. Gabriel will most likely be the natural replacement for Solomon Okpako, the versatile, young midfielder that joined Greek side Panionios some months ago.

KWARA UNITED FC

Squad 2010-2011

Chinedu Ajanah / Simon Ajana – signed from the Kwara Football Academy.

Gbenga Arokoyo – signed from the Kwara Football Academy.

Segun Atere – midfielder – born 02.11.1985.

Kazeem Ayelabegan

Philemon Daniel – defensive midfielder – born 20.03.1986.

Sibi Gwar – attacking midfielder – born 09.09.1987.

Obadaki Halilu – defender – born 20.12.1993.

Lukman Ijaya – forward – born 21.07.1986.

Barnabas Imenger – signed from the Kwara Football Academy.

Yusuf Jaiyeola – attacking midfielder – born 11.11.1984.

Sherif Jimoh – midfielder – born 10.10.1992.

Kelvin Kpakor – signed from the Kwara Football Academy.

Abubakar Lekan – goalkeeper.

Yusuf Lukman / Karim Lukman – signed from Union Bank FC.

Blessing Okardi – midfielder – born 05.11.1988 – signed from Lobi Stars FC.

Ogbonnaya Okemmiri – left-back – born 13.06.1986.

Olayemi “Yemi” Olarewaju – signed from Great Fortune Academy.

Isiaka Olawale – midfielder – born 11.11.1983.

Monday Osagie – central defender – signed from Enugu Rangers International FC.

Chibuzor Osigwe

Shakiru Razaq – signed from Ranchers Bees FC.

Mustapha Salihu – goalkeeper.

Soga Sambo – forward – born 05.10.1985.

Suraj Sodiq – central defender – born 08.01.1988.

Kazeem Yekeen – goalkeeper.

Kwara United FC looks strong this season and has brought some great players to the club, perhaps especially Blessing Okardi (born 05.11.1988), a hard-running midfielder who has joined United from Lobi Stars FC. A former captain of Ocean Boys FC. Kwara United FC is apparently interesting in signing Junior Osagie from Enyimba FC and Kola Anubi from Sharks FC but has not succeeded so far.

According to some sources, Kwara United FC has a player called Habib Saka in their squad. The same report states that Kwara has bought goalkeeper Lukman Orire from Shooting Stars FC and Adekunle Murtala from Ocean Boys FC.


Responses

  1. Life is good

  2. hi emeka its maureen. ur friend from aba… 234 8038737795 this is my number can i have yours please


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