Posted by: westafricanfootball | 21/02/2011

OCEAN BOYS FC – THE PLAYERS TO WATCH

At the time of writing, Ocean Boys FC have won 5 of their 7 last matches in the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011. In this post, I will present some of their most interesting players.

FELIX BENJAMIN

Benjamin is a striker who has emerged from pretty much nowhere during the last couple of months. The 1992 year old scored two goals during January 2011 and got some media attention for his performances. He apparently stated to SuperSport that he hoped for 15 league goals during the season. Although inexperienced, Benjamin is obviously a raw talent and a player to watch.

CHRISTOPHER CHIGOZIE

In my post from 02.02.2011, “Observations from the Nigerian Premier League (part two)”, I asked if young midfielder Christopher Chigozie could be the next star midfielder to emerge from Nigerian league football. Two weeks later, Chigozie made big headlines in Nigeria when he delivered a five-star performance against JUTH FC in a league match on 16.02.2011. Ocean Boys FC won 4-1 and playmaker Chigozie made three assists and scored the last goal through a beautiful free-kick.

After the match Chigozie stated: “I’ve always scored free-kicks during trainings, but not in match situations until the match against JUTH FC. I hope to score more for my team”.

Yesterday, on 20.02.2011, Ocean Boys FC hammered Zamfara United FC 3-1 and Chigozie scored a wonderful hattrick. Two of the goals were powerful shots, including a free-kick, while the last one came off a rebound after a shot by Andrew Michael.

In this short video you can see the goals scored by Chigozie. The three goals means that Chigozie has scored five goals this season.

http://supersport.com/video/play.aspx?id=13916

Chigozie is an attacking midfielder, known for his balance, close control and skill on the ball. He provides creative passes to the front men of Ocean Boys FC, such as Andrew Michael and Felix Benjamin. He is also a dead-ball specialist and usually takes Ocean Boys FC’s corner kicks and free kicks.

I think it is fair to say that Christopher Chigozie probably is the hottest player in the Nigeria Premier League at the time of writing. Being involved in seven goals in two matches is quite extraordinary by Nigerian standards.

The media officer of Ocean Boys FC has recently praised Chigozie in Nigerian media, claiming that the national team handlers should start to monitor him and that he would fit in perfectly at Samson Siasia’s new Nigeria national football team.

Little is known about the background of Chigozie. I can document that he played for Ocean Boys FC during 2009-2010 and that he scored at least one goal in the league. As far as I know, he has never been part of any Nigeria national football team, including Nigeria U-17, Nigeria U-20, Nigeria U-23 and Nigeria B.

According to Football Talents, Chigozie is born 10.06.1990 but I am not able to confirm this.

DENGO EBINIPERE

Big, strong central defender Dengo Eninipere is another player who gets rave reviews for his recent performances. Ebinipere broke through at Ocean Boys FC during the 2008-2009 season and has been an important member of the team ever since. Ebinipere is apparently born 10.06.1990 and according to some sources he is 189 centimeters. Ebinipere was part of the Ocean Boys FC team that played in the 2009 African Confederations Cup. His name is sometimes spelled “Denigo Ebinipere”.

ANDREW MICHAEL

Andrew Michael is the current top goalscorer of Ocean Boys FC with three goals. Michael was signed from Bayelsa United FC before the current season and is a very interesting prospect.

Andrew Michael made his debut for Bayelsa United FC in the 2008-2009 season and scored two goals during the campaign. Michael was only 16-17 at this time and he managed to raise a few eyebrows through his performances. Michael scored five league goals during 2009-2010 but could not save his team from relegation.

In this short video you can see glimpses of Michael’s qualities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgdsnyubJB8

According to this video, Michael is born 04.08.1992 and is 182 centimeters. Michael is a strong and speedy striker, the kind of player who causes a lot of havoc just by being present on the field. Michael has to work with his finishing, not unnatural for such a young player, but since he is able to shoot with both feet he could very well become a lethal striker when he gets more experience.

Ocean Boys FC have sold the experienced strongman Charles Omokaro to Warri Wolves FC but the signing of big striker Ekene Ezenwa (born 07.09.1984), formerly of Enyimba FC, will probably ease the goalscoring pressure of Michael.

AYO SAKA

The talented attacking midfielder Ayo Saka was presented in my post from 06.11.2010. Saka has currently scored one league goal in the current campaign and he was recently added in the squad of the Nigeria U-23 national football team. The following is taken from my post from 06.11.2010:

“There is not much information to be found about Ayo Saka but I personally think some information is better than none information. The first time I noticed Saka was in December 2008, when he was included in the squad of the Flying Eagles – the national U-20 football team of Nigeria. Based on the other players that were part of this squad, Saka is most likely born in 1989, 1990 or 1991. At this point, during the season 2008-2009, Saka was part of second division side Union Bank FC. Saka signed for Ocean Boys FC before the season 2009-2010 and was an instant success story. I can document that he scored two league goals during the season, but it is likely that he scored another 1-3 goals. As already written his performances eventually made him a fringe player for the Super Eagles and Ayo Saka made his full international debut for Nigeria against South Korea in a friendly match on 11.08.2010. Saka was actually a substitute for Eneji Otekpa of Enyimba FC, another red hot central midfielder in the Nigerian Premier League.”

OLUFEMI THOMAS

Some experts mean that Olufemi Thomas, born 05.08.1989, is one of the best goalkeepers in the Nigeria Premier League. Often referred to as Femi Thomas, the giant goalkeeper (190 centimeters) is a well-known player in Nigeria. He started his professional career at Nasarawa United FC in 2006 and joined Ocean Boys FC before the 2009-2010 season. Some sources claim that Thomas has played for Zamfara United FC as well, but I am not able to confirm this. Femi Thomas was a regular member of the Nigeria U-20 national football team in 2006 and 2007 and was training with the Nigeria B national football team in 2008.

He is a wonderful shot stopper and his physical presence makes him a difficult opponent for any striker in the Nigeria Premier League.

The media officer of Ocean Boys FC has recently stated: “Goalkeeper Femi Thomas can help the Super Eagles because he is the best in the league.”


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