Posted by: westafricanfootball | 07/12/2010

VICTOR BARNABAS

I have noticed that the star striker of Lobi Stars FC, Victor Barnabas, gets more and more attention. This is understandable based on several good seasons in the Nigeria Premier League and a goalscoring record that is pretty impressive – especially since he has been playing for modest clubs that have struggled to avoid relegation. Unfortunately, playing for smaller clubs that are missing media coverage makes it difficult to find information about Barnabas. This post basically contains all the information I have about the player.

Victor Barnabas first came into the spotlight in the season 2007-2008, playing for Akwa United FC, a club from Uyo in south-eastern Nigeria. Akwa United FC became number fourteen in the Nigeria Premier League. According to my statistics Barnabas scored four goals during the season. He was playing alongside great offensive players such as Osamudiemen Idehen (the top goalscorer for Enyimba FC in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010), Nonso Elias (currently at Enyimba FC) and King Osanga (currently at Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia). During the season, Barnabas attended a trial-period at an unknown Italian club, apparently alongside Marshal Johnson (born 12.12.1989) – currently an offensive midfielder for Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium.

Barnabas started 2008-2009 at Akwa United FC and scored one goal during the first half of the season. Akwa United FC struggled hard as was eventually relegated. However, Barnabas remained at top level as he chose to join another struggling team, Lobi Stars FC, before the second half of 2008-2009. I can document that Barnabas scored three goals for his new club, which escaped relegation with a margin of a single point.

His best season to date is obviously 2009-2010, the first whole season at Lobi Stars FC. Barnabas scored eight goals during the season, which made him top goalscorer for his team. Barnabas had a great understanding with prodigy Moses Bunde (born in 1993), now with Vitoria Setubal in Portugal.

At the time of writing, Barnabas has scored three goals for his team during the six first rounds of 2010-2011. Lobi Stars FC will probably have a difficult season and I personally expect Barnabas to join a bigger club during 2011.

Little is known about the age of Victor Barnabas. He was described as “youthful” in an article from 2009 and I have a theory that he is about the same age as Marshal Johnson, probably in the early twenties. This is however yet to be confirmed.

As far as I know, Barnabas has never been included in any squad for any Nigerian national football team, including all youth levels.

Nigerian football is tough and tight and not too many goals are scored. It should be pointed out that when Ahmadu Musa scored 18 goals for Kano Pillars FC in 2009-2010, it was actually the all-time highest number of goals scored by any player in a single season of the Nigeria Premier League. Scoring eight goals for one of the smaller clubs in the Nigeria Premier League is actually a rather impressive number and Barnabas is obviously a player to watch.


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