Posted by: westafricanfootball | 09/06/2012

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

* Attacker Funsho Alamayo started the season at second level side Ajiroba-Ooni FC, as far as I know without scoring a single league goal. In May 2012, Alamayo joined ABS FC where he has already made his full debut.

* The attacking pair of Abdulrahman Bashir and Andrew Abalogu at ABS FC keeps on impressing. Bashir has scored nine league goals while Abalogu, playing his first ever season at top level, has scored seven.

* Enyimba FC has signed veteran goalkeeper Uche Akubike (born 17.03.1980) from Gombe United FC. Akubike will face tough competition from Godwin Paul (born 16.09.1987), Richard Ocheayi and Chinedu Agwu.

* I recently discovered that Niger Tornadoes FC has signed defender Patrick Sylvester Agada (born 02.12.1990) from Zamfara United FC.

* One of the things that fascinate me about Nigerian football is that a player often comes from practically nowhere and makes a name for himself in a matter of few months. This is definitely the case with striker Yahaya Adamu (born 17.07.1993) from Rising Stars FC. Adamu has scored five league goals for the struggling side between 28.04.2012 and 07.06.2012. The youngster was presented by MTN Football on 08.06.2012 and won the “NPL Star of the Week-award”: http://www.mtnfootball.com/africa/nigeria/premier-league/news/2012/june/08-npl-star-of-the-week-yahaya-adamu.html. The picture of Adamu was found at this page. Adamu is wearing the yellow shirt and the rugged player in white is tough central defender Cyril Oriaku of Rangers International FC, one of the unsung heroes of the Nigeria Premier League.

Adamu played for various amateur clubs before joining the Akure-based side during the mid-season transfer window. I believe he has some sort of connection with Sunshine Stars FC, the top club in Akure.

* On 07.06.2012, youngster Luter Iyorhe scored his first ever league goal for Lobi Stars FC. Iyorhe, an attacking midfielder of striker, had only weeks before been given a professional contract after playing for the club’s reserve team.

* I believe Akwa United FC has signed a player called Moses Opitoke, formerly of second level side Remo FC from Sagamu in southwestern Nigeria.

* On 07.06.2012, petit attacker Jolly Osas (born 30.05.1993) scored his first league goal for Heartland FC. Osas, who can play as a striker, winger or attacking midfielder, played for Shooting Stars FC and Zamfara United FC during the Nigeria Premier League 2010-2011. Osas recently scored a hat-trick during the Federations Cup and he is apparently in top form.

* Jigawa Golden Stars FC has played five matches without losing and could be on their way out of trouble. The Hadejia-based side has two good goalkeepers in Henry Anozie and Abdulazeez Adieza. The main defender is Jude Ebitowa, formerly of Ocean Boys FC and Nasarawa United FC. Bala Mohammed (born 04.01.1988) is running the midfield. The former captain of Kano Pillars FC is top scorer with nine league goals. Up front, exciting prospects Noble Anasoh (born 15.07.1989) and John-Paul Chinedu has been wonderful in what I believe is their first ever seasons at top level.

* Lately, Shooting Stars FC has been performing a lot better then in the beginning of the season. Personally, I think this is caused by some smart investments during the mid-season transfer window. Playmaker Philip Asuquo and lanky striker Tony Edjomariegwe (born 01.09.1989), both signed from Kwara United FC, has been revelations. Especially Asuquo, who has been described as a great passer of the ball, an intelligent, combative player and a good marker, has injected quality into the team, forming a great parthership with central midfielder Sola Adeboye, one of the most consistent and praised performers this season.

* I can now confirm that Kwara United FC has signed Cameroonian Mark Kipeh Pangwoh, formerly of Sable FC and the Cameroon U-23 national football team.

* Goalkeeper Kazeem Yekeen (born 01.12.1992) is having a wonderful season for Kwara United FC. I recently discovered that the current backup goalkeeper at the club is Ikhana Azeez (born 18.12.1988), a product of the Pepsi Football Academy.

* Red-hot striker Sibi Gwar (born 09.09.1987) of Niger Tornadoes FC is the current top scorer of the Nigeria Premier League 2012 with 12 league goals. Chikeluba Francis Ofoedu of Rangers International FC and Mohammed Gambo (born 10.03.1988) of Kano Pillars FC has scored 10 goals.


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