Posted by: westafricanfootball | 07/02/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012 – PART FIVE

SHOOTING STARS FC

New signing Olamakinde Talabi is one of the most hyped players in the league right now, despite mostly having made substitute appearances at Shooting Stars FC. Talabi scored in his debut and has been described as a skillful player with a great shot who loves to cut in from either wing. The attacking midfielder, formerly of amateur side Ijebu United FC, is born 16.06.1995 according to http://www.shootingstarssc.net.

Another player getting a lot of attention is Hamed Adesope (born 22.10.1985) who has been brilliant in the central defence after his transfer from TDCS Dong Thap FC of Vietnam. Adesope is not the only new player that has joined 3SC from foreign countries. New goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye (born 07.08.1990) was on the books of Spanish third level side Pontevedra CF, while new striker Thomas Adesina Adeniran (born 15.01.1992) won the Ivorian championship with Africa Sports from Abidjan. According to SoccerAssociation, usually a reliable source, Ajiboye played only one match for the Spanish outfit.

Youngster Taofeek Akanbi has joined 3SC from Crown FC. Akanbi, who scored eight league goals for the relegated side last season, got a lot of media attention when it was known that FC Bayern München (Germany) and Arsenal FC (England) was following him closely. Right-back Seun Akinyemi, defensive midfielder Ibrahim Babalola and attacking midfielder Olayiwola Oyeleke (born 18.09.1985) are also new players from Crown FC. The talented striker Aaron Samuel, formerly of Dolphins FC, has gotten a lot of chances but has been somewhat wasteful in front of goal.

Youngster Chima Akas (born 03.05.1994) is currently training with Norwegian top level side SK Brann. Akas, an energetic left-back or left-winger, was brilliant during the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011, scoring five league goals and impressing with good crosses and dangerous free kicks.

The picture is of Akanbi and is taken from SuperSport.

SUNSHINE STARS FC

If I would pick one player in the Nigeria Premier League that I am sure is ready for Europe I would say Godfrey Oboabona (born 16.08.1990) of Sunshine Stars FC. Oboabona, the team captain, is such a strong player, operating from the central defence or at defensive midfield, and is brilliant from set-pieces. He has already scored three goals this season, mostly through penalties.

The squad of Sunshine Stars FC contains some really good attackers this season. Izu Azuka (born 24.05.1989) returns to Nigeria after a spell in Algeria for JS Kabylie. Osamudiamen Idehen (born 13.05.1990) somewhat disappeared after winning a professional contract in Vietnam. Idehen did well for Xi mang Hai Phong but the former Enyimba-ace is back in the Nigerian league with Sunshine Stars FC. Fans of Nigerian football will probably remember Idehen as the player that scored two goals in his debut match for the Nigeria national football team (03.03.2010 against DR Congo). Ajani Ibrahim (born 05.03.1987) is well-known after his 18 goals from last season. Sakibu Atanda (born 20.03.1988) should also be mentioned. These four players should all be able to score double figures this season.

Seun Olulayo, a new central defender from neighbours Rising Stars FC, looks very promising.

WARRI WOLVES FC

Warri Wolves FC has been able to hold on to most of their stars and has also brought Jude Aneke (born 07.01.1989), arguably the best striker in the Nigerian league, to the club. Key players will be well-known faces such as goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim (born 28.11.1984), defenders Ike Thankgod (born 04.04.1985), Azubuike Egwuekwe and Goodluck Onomado (born 16.11.1988), attacking midfielders Uremu Michael Egbeta (born 15.11.1991) and Michael Okoye and strong support striker Efe Yarhere.

WIKKI TOURISTS FC

The newly promoted side has lost key players Nura Nakargo and Solomon Jefferson to Akwa United FC, but things do not look too bad. Goalkeeper Abdul Isa (born 10.08.1985), central defender Ismaila Suleiman, right-back Festus Umanah, attacking midfielder Tijani Adamu are all great signings from Plateau United FC, Lobi Stars FC, Ocean Boys FC, Sunshine Stars FC respectively. Isa, arguably the best beach football goalkeeper in Nigeria, will face competition from Yusuf Babangida. The new players have blended in well with retained players such as Emenike Onuoha and team captain Babatunde Aremu. A few years ago, striker Bishop Onyeudo was starring for Enyimba FC and Rangers International FC. Onyeudo is now back at top level and will be hoping to get his career on the right track.


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