Posted by: westafricanfootball | 06/03/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

ABS FC

List of scorers (7 goals): Andrew Abalogu 2, Sala Abiodun 2, Abdulrahman Bashir 2, Christian Ofili 1

* Midfielders Evbuomwan Stone, Ter’ade Ichull Lordson and Ibrahim Abdullahi are three interesting youngsters featuring regularly for ABS FC. All players were signed from the successful Kwara Football Academy. Stone was part of the Nigeria U-17 national football team in 2010.

AKWA UNITED FC

List of scorers (9 goals): Haruna Babalo 3, Ini Akpan 2, Dauda Alilu Eboh 1, Otobong Effiong 1, Solomon Jefferson 1, Lucky Nosa 1 (Please note that some sources report that Ibrahim Abubakar Babale scored against ABS FC in Round 6 – and not Dauda Alilu Eboh)

* To be honest, I am a bit confused regarding Haruna Babalo and Ibrahim Abubakar Babale (born 22.04.1984). It is a fact that Babale joined Akwa United FC before the season and the experienced striker has featured regularly this season. I have never read anything about Haruna Babalo, formerly of Gombe United FC, Niger Tornadoes FC and Wikki Tourists FC, joining Akwa United FC.

I have a theory that it is actually Babale and not Babalo who has scored goals for Akwa United FC in Round 9, Round 10 and Round 11. I could very well be mistaken.

* I’m also a bit confused regarding the correct name of Solomon Jefferson, one of the star players at Akwa United FC. Most sources will refer to this player as “Solomon Jabason” but as far as I know, “Jabason” is not a very common name in Nigeria. Jefferson, primarily a midfielder, was training with the Nigeria national football team in February 2012.

* Promising attacking midfielder Ini Akpan, who has been somewhat of a revelation, is born 20.03.1990 according to MyBestPlay.

DOLPHINS FC

List of scorers (12 goals): Abdul Ajagun 2, Emem Eduok 2, Adamu Mohammed 2, Abuu Seidu 1, Ifeanyi Egwim 1, Hassan Hussein 1, Emma Nwachi 1, Johnson Olewesi 1, Chidi Osuchukwu 1

* From my point of view, the major strength of Dolphins FC is that the club has several players who can score goals. Owusu Addai (born 04.02.1985), Derick Amadi (born 10.03.1984), Ifeanyi Egwim, Victor Michael, Adamu Mohammed (born 16.11.1992), Emma Nwachi (born 12.10.1986) and Chidi Osuchukwu (born 16.02.1990) are all dangerous attackers who can score double figures during a season. Interestingly, the three players who scored most goals for Dolphins FC last season, Michael (8 goals), Amadi (6 goals) and Addai (5 goals) have yet to open their accounts for the new season.

Attacking midfielder Abdul Ajagun (born 10.02.1993), midfield general Isiaka Olawale (born 11.11.1983) and winger Emem Eduok (born 31.08.1991) are also able potential matchwinners.

* Cletus Itodo (born 01.01.1984) is a confirmed signing for Dolphins FC. Itodo is a playmaker who combines both defensive and offensive attributes. The experienced player has played for several top clubs in Nigeria, including Sunshine Stars FC and Enyimba FC.

ENYIMBA FC

List of scorers (12 goals): Josiah Maduabuchi 5, Gbolahan Salami 3, Uche Agbo 1, Nzube Anaezemba 1, Onyekachi Okoye 1

* Semiu Lladi has been a revelation in central defence since joining Enyimba FC from Bukola Babes FC, especially when combining with the highly regarded Emmanuel Anyanwu (born 15.11.1991).

Chime Amanfor is an interesting newcomer who has forced his way into the first team. Amanfor is still rather unknown to me, but I know that he is a former player of Akwa United FC. Further, Amanfor was part of the Nigeria U-17 national football team in 2006, suggesting that he is currently in his early twenties. Amanfor is also known as “Chimezie Amanfor”.

Nura Mohammed and Emmanuel Sunday are two other newcomers who I have not been able to identify yet. I’m guessing that Sunday is the attacking midfielder from Sunshine Stars FC as he has been described as a “former national junior player” with “pace and technique”. I am also still curious about the lively Chinonso Okonwko.

The bottom line is that Enyimba FC has a squad containing several young, promising players with a bright future ahead of them.

GOMBE UNITED FC

List of scorers (16 goals): Mustapha Babadidi 8, Sani Sanusi 7, Ahmed Aliyu 1

* So far this season, it has mostly been about the sensational attacking pair of Mustapha Babadidi and Sani Sanusi. Babadidi was recently named in the squad of the Nigeria U-17 national football team and I am pretty sure that he is just 16 years old. European clubs have already discovered this lively and sharp-shooting striker.

HEARTLAND FC

List of scorers (9 goals): Bello Musa Kofarmata 2, Brendan Ogbu 2, Emmanuel Amaefule 1, Christopher Chigozie 1, Osas Okoro 1, Julius Ubido 1, Kabiru Umar 1

* Last season, strikers Brendan Ogbu and Kabiru Umar were impressive for Rangers International FC. This season, the pair is forming a dangerous partnership at Heartland FC. Umar has already been captaining his new side.

JIGAWA GOLDEN STARS FC

List of scorers (5 goals): Noble Anasoh 2, Bala Mohammed 2, Oliver Agbo 1

* It has been extremely different to find information about Jigawa Golden Stars FC. I know that one of their goalkeepers is Umar Danlami, formerly of Lobi Stars FC. Central defender Maurice Chigozie and defensive midfielder Bala Mohammed, both former players of Kano Pillars FC, are key players. Oliver Agbo was leading the attack against Enyimba FC earlier this month. Agbo is a tall striker who has experience from the African Champions League with Enyimba FC. Habibu Yunusa is a strong, combative striker, who is full of endeavour. Yunusa was playing for Kano Pillars FC in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

KADUNA UNITED FC

List of scorers (9 goals): Jafar Buhari 4, Oliver Nsidibe 2, Ali Adamu 1, Nasiru Hussaini 1, Charles Ikenna 1

* Jafar Buhari was one of the players that stood out when Ranchers Bees FC was playing at top level in 2009-2010. Buhari scored two league goals during the season but has already doubled this number for his new club; the city rivals Kaduna United FC. Interestingly, Buhari is currently playing with several of his former teammates at Ranchers Bees FC, including striker Ali Adamu and left-back Anthony Michael.

KANO PILLARS FC

List of scorers (9 goals): Mannir Ubale 4, Rabiu Ali 2, Mohammed Gambo 2, Nazif Ammani Inuwa 1

* Mannir Ubale (born 02.07.1991), formerly of Bayelsa United FC, is playing his fifth season at top level and he is currently in top form. The picture is of Ubale and is taken from kanopillars.com.

KWARA UNITED FC

List of scorers (9 goals): Segun Alebiosu 3, Philip Asuquo 2, Imenger Barnabas 2, Yusuf Jaiyeola 1, Anthony Okemmiri 1 (Please note that Okemmiri scored a goal against Sunshine Stars FC on 03.03.2012 but the game was abandoned and it is currently uncertain what will happen with this match)

* Striker Kabiru Sanusi scored 11 goals for Kwara United FC in 2010-2011 but is still without goals this season. Kwara United FC could use goals from Sanusi as Segun Alebiosu of the Nigeria U-17 national football team and teenage star Imenger Barnabas both are inexerpenced strikers.


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