Kwara United FC, based in Ilorin, finished the season as number six in the Nigeria Premier League 2012. The Afonja Warriors has an interesting team, with a good mix between experienced players and talented youngsters.
Nobody will question that Kazeem Yekeen (born 28.12.1992) is the first choice goalkeeper at Kwara United FC. The shotstopper is arguably the most promising goalkeeper in the Nigeria Premier League. The backup goalkeepers were Suraj Ayeleso (born 12.03.1991), formerly of Bukola Babes FC, Ikhana Azeez (born 18.12.1988), formerly of the Pepsi Football Academy, and Michael Uweru, formerly of Crown FC.
The promising Usman Amodu (born 16.12.1990) played regulary in defence throughout the season, often at left-back. Usman played three matches for the Nigeria U-17 national football team during the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. Kwara United FC has another solid left-back in their squad, namely Obadaki Halilu (born 20.12.1993) who is currently part of the Nigeria U-20 national football team. Adekunle Murtala, formerly of Ocean Boys FC; was often found on the right-back; a position where also Quadir Okoloba was an option.
From my point of view, Seun Sogbeso, formerly of Bukola Babes FC, was the top central defender during the season. Sogbeso was mostly partnered by veteran Okey Odita (born 01.05.1982), formerly of Enyimba FC, and sometimes by strongman Lukman Ijaiya (born 21.07.1986). Younger players such as Isiaka Oladuntoye and Suraj Sodiq (born 08.01.1988) were also options at centre-back. Bala Zakkah, who had a great first season at the club, was a good option in defence or midfield.
Gbenga Arokoyo (born 01.11.1992), the powerful central defender, joined Swedish top level side Mjällby AIF after starting the season at Kwara United FC.
Midfield maestro Segun Atere (born 02.11.1985) is often captaining Kwara United FC. Atere is arguably one of the key players at the team, often orchestrating attacking moves. The picture is of Atere and was found on MTN Football. The hard-working Philemon Daniel was often played as a holding midfielder. My personal favorite at Kwara United FC is Sherif Jimoh (born 10.10.1992), comfortable as a defensive midfielder or attacking midfielder. Jimoh was one of the players in the squad who played the most matches during the season.
Utility player Yusuf Jaiyeola (born 11.11.1984), primarily an attacking midfielder, played regularly throughout the season. Vincent Ogar, formerly of Bukola Babes FC, was also a good option at central midfield.
Youngster Christopher Obiorah, formerly of the Kwara Football Academy, was simply brilliant towards the end of the season. Obiorah is a player to watch and I am currently trying to find more information about the player.
During the mid-season transfer window, Kwara United FC sold playmaker Philip Asuquo and versatile attacker Tony Edjomariegwe (born 01.09.1989)to Shooting Stars FC. Based on their impressive performances towards the end of the season, Kwara United FC should probably have tried to keep them both. Asuquo was particularly brilliant, forcing his way into the squad of the Nigeria B national football team.
Left-winger Stanley Dimgba joined Kwara United FC from second level side Plateau United FC during the mid-season transfer window. Dimgba has been an instant success, impressing with pace and dribbling. When Dimgba attacked from the left, Anthony Okemmiri was often attacking from the right. When in form, Okemmiri is arguably the best player at the team, forcing his way down the right-flank using his strength and skills.
Utility player Bolaji Simon Sakin made a promising first season at top level of Nigerian football, also training with the Nigeria U-20 national football team in April 2012.
Emeka Nwanna (born 25.10.1982), the experienced right-winger or striker, was a big-name signing during the mid-season transfer window. Nwanna showed glimpses of his past brilliance, but managed only one goal. Cameroonian striker Mark Kipeh Pangwoh, formerly of Sable FC, was another signing who failed to cause any headlines. Pangwoh is currently playing for Tunisian club AS Gabès, where he scored in his league debut on 01.09.2012.
Segun Alebiosu, top scorer of Kwara United FC with nine goals, has been one of the revelations of the Nigeria Premier League 2012. Alebiosu is apparently 17 years old and the fast and strong striker looks set for a bright future in football. Alebiosu was often competing with Imenger Barnabas (born 24.11.1991) for a place in the starting eleven. The skillful and hard-working striker is currently playing for Trelleborgs FF at the second level of Swedish footbal. Top striker Kabiru Sanusi, a proven goalscorer at this level, had a somewhat disappointing season with just six goals. Tayo Fabiyi, who made some impressive performances early in the season, decided to join Rangers International FC in April 2012.
Other players that featured during the season include utility player Amafe Edebiri (born 16.05.1986), Abdallah Guindo (born 29.07.1990), Ferinyaro Lanre, striker Prince Nnake (born 26.09.1989), veteran Charles Omokaro (born 25.11.1984) and defender Habib Saka.
List of scorers:
Segun Alebiosu 8, Kabiru Sanusi 6, Imenger Barnabas 5, Seun Sogbeso 3, Usman Amodu 2, Philip Asuquo 2, Stanley Dimgba 2, Anthony Okemmiri 2, Yusuf Jaiyeola 1, Sheriff Jimoh 1, Emeka Nwanna 1, Christopher Obiorah 1, Quadir Olokoba 1, Bala Zakkah 1.