At the time of writing, Wikki Tourists FC has played 18 matches in the Nigeria Premier League 2012. The newly promoted club, based in Bauchi in northern Nigeria, has done surprisingly well, winning eight of their matches. Interestingly, all victories have been at the Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi.
As always, it is very difficult to find information about the teams from northern Nigeria. For instance, I am not able to define the preferred first eleven of Wikki Tourists FC. It is likely that a couple of players, some of them important, are forgotten in this report.
I can document that at least three goalkeepers have featured for Wikki Tourists FC so far this season. Abdul Isa (born 10.08.1985), signed from Plateau United FC before the season, is an experienced goalkeeper, perhaps most famous for his performances in Beach Soccer. Afeso Attah, another experienced player, was the backup goalkeeper for Dolphins FC for many seasons. Yusuf Babangida was one of the goalkeepers that featured for Wikki Tourists FC during their promotion season in 2010-2011. Based on their previous achievements, I assume Isa is first choice goalkeeper.
I think Festus Umanah, formerly of Ocean Boys FC, Kwara United FC and Sharks FC, is the preferred right-back at the club. The experienced Ismaila Suleiman, formerly of Lobi Stars FC and Dolphins FC, and Nehemiah Ekong, signed from Crown FC, have featured as central defenders. Mustapha Ibrahim, who trained with the Nigeria B national football team in December 2011, is also a defender at the club and apparently a key player.
Tijani Adamu (born 03.10.1992) is an attacking midfielder signed from Sunshine Stars FC, known as a good passer of the ball. Rabiu Yusuf Baita (born 28.08.1984) was signed in February 2012 and brings valuable experience to the club. Baita, who played for Kaduna United FC last season, is primarily an attacking midfielder or a right-winger. I believe that Emenike Onuoha and Bilyaminu Mohammed, who both were part of the Wikki-team that won promotion in 2010-2011, are midfielders.
Babatunde Aremu, also known as “Tunde Aremu”, has been captaining the team during the season. Aremu is primarily a striker, but he has previously featured in the midfield as well. Lanky striker Henry Osita made an impressive start to the season, and joined Rangers International FC in February 2012, where he has not been able to break into the starting eleven. I know that the experienced striker Bishop Onyeudo started the season at Wikki Tourists FC but he has been very quiet since January 2012. Victor Yakubu, who failed to score for JUTH FC during the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011, has been rather impressive for Wikki Tourists FC. Burly striker Ahmadu Shuaibu and Sani Mohammed both played important roles in the Wikki-team that won promotion in 2010-2011. They have not made any headlines this season. Abubakar Umar, who was recently picked for the Nigeria U-20 national football team, has been a revelation. A striker called Alaba Johnson has also shown quality.
Other players that I know have featured for Wikki Tourists FC this season are Kingsley Ashu and Ahmed Aliyu. These players are currently unknown to me. I also notice that a player called Aminu Umar was recently picked for the Nigeria U-20 national football team. I believe this is the same player who scored for Wikki Tourists FC on 18.02.2012 against ABS FC, referred to as “Abubakar Aminu”.
According to MTN Football, Wikki Tourists FC has signed a Guinean player called “Mohammed Chian” as well as experienced striker Ahmed Garba (born 24.05.1980), often referred to as “Yaro-Yaro”. According to unconfirmed sources, Wikki Tourists FC signed Ali Gandu from Bukola Babes FC before the season.
From my point of view, there are primarily two players that I am looking for more information about: defender Mustapha Ibrahim and striker Abubakar Umar.
List of scorers (15 goals):
Abubakar Umar 3, Victor Yakubu 3, Mustapha Ibrahim 2, Alaba Johnson 2, Tijani Adamu 1, Abubakar Aminu 1, Babatunde Aremu 1, Rabiu Yusuf Baita 1, Henry Osita 1
The picture is of right-back Festus Umanah and is taken from naijaligue.blogspot.com.