Posted by: westafricanfootball | 10/05/2013

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2013

okorie vs mthembu~3

Otegbeye Ajibola (born 22.10.1993), a striker or winger, made a goalscoring debut for ABS FC against El-Kanemi Warriors FC on 09.05.2013. Ajibola is a product of amateur club Vela FC of Oyo. Ajibola’s teammate Emmanuel Onyeka (born 29.02.1994) is also a product of Vela FC. Onyeka, primarily an attacker, has made several appearances for ABS FC so far this season, mostly as a substitute. Ajibola and Onyeka can be watched in the following clips:

Ajibola: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1V6qdfdW_U

Onyeka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1n57cMeuhQ

* I think Akwa United FC has a quite interesting team this season. Right wing-back Edo Nnamso is a quality player, especially effective from free-kicks. Nnamso is fondly referred to as “Cameroon”. Gwaza Iorliam, signed from Niger Tornadoes FC is a strong, hard-tackling centre-back. Top scorer Ubong Ekpai (4 goals after Week 10), a striker or winger, and Sarafa Usman, an attacking midfielder or winger, have never been in better form. Enterprising winger Daniel Essien Etor (born 05.02.1992), formerly of Bukola Babes FC and Niger Tornadoes FC, is finally part of the team after missing out on the first couple of matches.

Some of the more unknown players that I have noticed include defender Uchenna Keke, striker Mfon Udoh and midfielder Davis Ukeme.

Akwa United FC, often referred to as The Promise Keepers, recently signed experienced goalkeeper John Gaadi (born 03.03.1982). Gaadi started the season at Sharks FC but failed to make an appearance. Gaadi, formerly of Lobi Stars FC, Wikki Tourists FC, Enyimba FC, Gombe United FC and Sunshine Stars FC, kept a clean sheet when he made his debut for Akwa United FC, ironically against Sharks FC, on 08.05.2013. Gaadi will fight Femi Kayode, formerly of Akwa Starlets FC, and Omoregie Nobas (born 02.06.1989), formerly of Kano Pillars FC and Niger Tornadoes FC, for the number one shirt.

* Last season, striker Samuel Agba was one of the top strikers at second level side Katsina Spotlights FC. Agba is currently playing for Bayelsa United FC.

* After three seasons at Sharks FC, promising left-winger / striker Terry Envoh (born 12.12.1992) has joined Bayelsa United FC.

* Watch out for youngster Chigozie Ihunda of Dolphins FC. The attacking midfielder has played three matches so far this season.

* Victor Babayaro (born 27.08.1983), the veteran right-back at Dolphins FC, and left-winger Emem Eduok (born 31.08.1991) have both played 10 out of 10 matches so far this season.

* El-Kanemi Warriors FC has signed a Cameroonian striker called Junior Rafael Boumsong, often referred to as “Raphael Bonson”. Boumsong, formerly of Gazelle FC from Chad, made his debut for the Maiduguri-based side against ABS FC on 09.05.2013.

* On 09.05.2013, big striker Ebube Okpokwu scored two goals in his debut for El-Kanemi Warriors FC. Okpokwu started the season at second level side Abia Comets FC, where he has been a key player. Okpokwu has top level experience for Akwa United FC (during the Nigeria Premier League 2007-2008) and Gateway FC (during the Nigeria Premier League 2008-2009 and 2009-2010).

* Last season, Andrew Abalogu (born 03.10.1992) scored nine goals for ABS FC, while Sibi Gwar (born 09.09.1987) scored 18 goals for Niger Tornadoes FC. This season, they are both playing for Enyimba FC and they have both disappointed in front of goal. Gwar has one penalty goal to his name while Abalogu is still waiting for his first goal for Peoples’ Elephant.

Midfielder Abdulrazak Aliyu has shown a lot of promise in his first season at Enyimba FC, having joined from second level side FC Taraba. Attacking midfielder / winger Ugochukwu Nwachukwu, who played for Kano Pillars FC during a pre-season tournament in Niger, is another interesting newcomer at Enyimba FC. Enyimba FC has also signed Sam Ogwo who played for Wikki Tourists FC during the Nigeria Premier League 2012.

Central defender Ikechukwu Okorie (born 18.11.1993), a key player at the Nigeria U-20 national football team, has finally made his debut for Enyimba FC. Okorie spent the 2012-season on loan at Kaduna United FC. The picture, found on MTN Football, is of Okorie.

* A lot of inexperienced players have shown promise at Gombe United FC, including centre-back Peter Jang, formerly of Lobi Stars FC, teenage midfielder Ibrahim Chilli, striker John Kim, formerly of Nasarawa United FC, and striker Cyril Obodo, who already has two goals to his name during his fist ever season at top level of Nigerian football.

* Attacking midfielder / striker Peter Onoja (born 25.05.1991), formerly of Enyimba FC, has made a sensational start to the season at Kaduna United FC. Another interesting player at the club is centre-back John Uche (born 26.10.1991), formerly of Niger Tornadoes FC.


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