Technical manager of Rivers United FC, Stanley Eguma believes his side can tear the form books to shreds and emerge champions of the 2017 CAF Champions League.
Debutants, United were heavy underdogs in their preliminary round tie against Malian side, AS Real Bamako who were making their seventh appearance in the competition but pulled the chestnut out of the fire with a convincing win.
The Nigerian side ran away 4-0 winners on aggregate and now face the potentially extremely difficult task of stopping Sudanese club, Al-Merriekh, a side making its 19th appearance in Africa’s premiere club competition, from reaching the group stage.
According to club’s media officer, Sammy Wejinya, Eguma is calm and tranquil about the task at hand but predicts that his boys cannot only just topple the 16-time Sudanese champions but also go all the way in the competition this year.
“The Champions League is a very big stage and we know that tougher opponents lie in wait.
“Our ambition is to win the competition and that is (also) the ambition of the sponsors for the football club (the Rivers State Government).
“We have crossed the first hurdle and we know there are more hurdles for us to cross in future.
“This is the time for extreme hard work and mapping out of strategies.
“The players have to lift their game too because the farther we progress the more difficult it is expected to be.
“Al-Merriekh will be more difficult than AS Real Bamako and we are ready to work to get the win,” he told the club’s official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.