Connect with us

Nigerian Football

Makinwa Surprisingly Claims ABS’ Success

Published

on

BY WALE MUSTAPHA.

 

Ahead the last match day of the season, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC Coach, Henry Makinwa undertook a self assessment of the side’s performance and rated it as successful by the team’s set objectives.

He didn’t exactly say what that objective is or are but it is general knowledge that the club is on the brink of relegating to the lower division with a match away to Nasarawa United.

ABS returned to the top flight last season from the second tier and started their campaign on a bright note with impressive results and exciting performances.

Advertisement

But the Ilorin based club had a dip in form midway through the season and shipped further down to relegation belt and are hoping to beat the drop going into the final day of this season.

Keen observers would reckon that the season has been miserable for ABS, tagged as giant killers at some point in the campaign but Makinwa won’t accept that rating and has argued that the club is champions in their class and targets.

Yet he admitted there have been issues with funding which he attributed to be the major setback for the club to compete against better funded opponents.

 

“It has been a very productive, positive season, and we are champions in terms of achieving our primary objectives which is empowerment for the youths.

Advertisement

“We are playing with school boys, we have almost 15 to 17 calls for these boys to go to another bigger clubs, the objective is achieved already, that’s what the proprietor (Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki) wanted, to empower the youths.

“We have Igbos, Hausa, Yoruba, Efik, Tivs, everybody in the team to be empowered, but he said to us, pick the best legs irrespective of his tribe, on merits and let them empower themselves and their families and I think that one is achieved.

“To compete with others is another question because we are playing and competing with millionaire clubs, they have a lot of millions to buy players, pay big bonuses and salaries to pick the best players all over Africa.

“FC IfeanyiUbah has almost seven to eight international players, Akwa United, Enyimba Int’l, Plateau United all have big players, so it’s very tough for us to compete,” Makinwa told npfl.ng

Makinwa who played in Spain for Rayo Vallecano insists the blame for ABS’ dismal season should spread across everyone who has played any role in the club including himself.

Advertisement

He however called for more focus, support and commitment for the club to end the season on a high.

“Of course I won’t be able to say that, others could see it, maybe it’s from players but I have my fault as well and everybody with the club has his own part of the fault including the management, the players, all of us.

“But I have tried to do things correctly on merit according to my thinking and philosophy, so if I’ve done anything wrong I don’t know may be people would see.

“If I have the chance to be here again, I will do the same thing I’ve been doing, nothing wrong about it, but if we (ABS FC) have money to compete I bet you I will win the league without losing a game, if I have some money other (clubs) have and the players I wanted to have I will win the league unbeaten.

“I’m happy we got over our last home game of the season with a win (ABS FC came back from Angola down to beat Abia Warriors 2-1 last Sunday in Ilorin) It was a tension soaked match and it was a big game because we were a bit psychologically not stable, Abia were too physical but I was positive we would turn it around and happy we did.

Advertisement

“We are still pushing it (survival from relegation) to the last day in the league, still the same intention, same approach, but with a renewed focus, commitment and support from everybody in the team, we hope to win there (against Nasarawa United in Lafia) and we hope other teams get bad results so that we can stay up,” concludes Makinwa.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

Published

on

Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

Advertisement

“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

Published

on

Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

Advertisement

“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

Published

on

New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed