Akwa United Can Win The League Title, Says Obuh

 

Newly unveiled head coach of Akwa United John Obuh says winning the Nigeria Professional League Title with Akwa United is a realistic goal.

In an interview on Channels TV’s Sports Tonight, Coach Obuh confirmed that with the philosophy and administration of the club, winning the league title this season is possible.

He said, ”It is very realistic. If a team has won the Aiteo Cup twice, finished top in their group in the abridged league, competed at the Super 6 and were only unfortunate not win, their major goal will always be to win the league title.

“They have always been a good contender for the title, so they can’t be ruled out of it this season. It is not a tall order, I believe we can do it. It is a project for everyone at the club, the old and new players, the coaches. Everyone is working so hard, we think we can do it.”

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The former Flying Eagles Coach who recently signed a 1-year contract with Akwa United, has former Eagles player, Duke Udi as assistant coach. He revealed it wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

“That has been my ambition for sometime. I started nursing the ambition of coaching Akwa United ten years ago. It was always rumoured that I will join the club even when I was engaged somewhere else. So when the opportunity came, I didn’t hesitate to take it because it is an organised club.”

Asides his personal ambition, coach Obuh had other reasons that made him join Akwa United.

“The time they were asking for CVs of coaches, I submitted mine and was called for an interview in Uyo. The interview was nice, the questions were technical and intelligent. I considered the fact that they have a good playing pitch, they have a good administrator and have been in the league for sometime now. The governor is also willing to sponsor the team, the only charge is that the team should impress and the sponsorship will always be good. That’s what every coach wants. That’s why it was easy for me to join Akwa United.”

Akwa United have registered a total of 35 players for the 2019/2020 NPFL season, 15 of them are new to the club but coach Obuh says it won’t be a problem to their league ambition.

Obuh explained that massive recruitment was done because the club players are always moving and they must be replaced.

He said the recruited players have quality and experience, making it easy for them to blend with the older players at the club.

Akwa United will open their 2019/2020 campaign with an away fixture against Warri Wolves on Sunday, 3rd November.

Akwa Utd Unveil Coaches, Players For 2019/2020 NPFL Season

 

Akwa United Football Club have officially unveiled new head coach John Obuh and his assistant Duke Udi for the upcoming 2019/2020 NPFL season scheduled to kick-off on 3rd November.

Obuh who signed a 1-year contract with Akwa United has set a target of winning the NPFL title with the Uyo based side.

The experienced John Obuh featured for many top clubs including Abiola Babes, Udoji United, Julius Berger, Sharks FC, Enugu Rangers, and Enyimba as a player. The Abia State-born coach started his coaching career in 1994/1995 season as a coach-player with Enyimba of Aba. He has also worked with the National Under-17 team- the Golden Eaglets and the National Under-20 team- the Flying Eagles between 2008-2013.

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John Obuh, new head coach of Akwa United Football Club

Obuh has a CAF B coaching license, English FA International coaching license and German Football A license. His last assignment in the NPFL was with  Kwara United in 2018 where he led the team to gain promotion from the Nigeria National League to the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Also joining Akwa United’s technical crew for the new season is former Super Eagles, Grasshopper of Switzerland and Akwa United defender Duke Udi as the Deputy Head Coach.

Udi has previously worked as a coach with Giwa FC, Enugu Rangers, Sunshine stars amongst others. He has agreed a one year deal with the Promise Keepers.

The two-time Federation Cup champions have registered a total of 35 players for the new league season. To execute the season’s business effectively, the club has also acquired 15 new experienced players comprising three goalkeepers, four defenders, four midfielders and four forwards players.

The new players unveiled include;

Goalkeepers:

Itodo Akor (El-Kanemi)

Bassey Akpan (Sunshine Stars)

Adewale Adeyinka (Gombe Utd)

 

Defenders:

Ekemini Ukoebe (Lori FC)

Sampson Gbadebo (Rivers Utd)

Ali Chiwendu (Yobe Stars)

David Philip (Go Round)

 

Midfielders:

Samuel Mathias (Lobi Stars)

Dare Ojo (Lobi Stars)

Morice Chukwu (Go Round)

Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (ES Setif)

 

Forwards:

Christian Ekong (Delta Force)

Michael Ohanu (MFM)

Ubong Friday (Lori FC)

Akarandut Orok

Akwa Ibom Governor Wants Aiteo Cup Prize Money Increased

Gov. Emmanuel Promises More Support For Akwa-Ibom Youths

Akwa Ibom State governor Udom Emmanuel has called for an upward review of the prize money for the winner of the Aiteo Cup.

According to the governor, the current N25 million prize money is too meagre for a competition of that magnitude.

Governor Emmanuel made the call when the Aiteo Cup recently won by Akwa United was presented to him during the October edition of the state executive council meeting at the exco chambers of the Government House, Uyo.

He said the victory of Akwa United further demonstrated that with the right passion and commitment, success can be achieved.

“The victory of Akwa United has once again proven that with passion and true commitment, we can achieve anything we set out to achieve. This is a lesson which we, especially our youths must learn,” he said.

“Let me use this opportunity to say this; the prize money of N25 million naira for the competition is rather too meager for a competition of that magnitude… The highest football competition in the country”.

The governor regretted that in spite of the enormous contribution of the Akwa Ibom State government to ensure the qualification of Nigeria ‘s Super Eagles to the 2018 World Cup, the Nigerian football governing body has not deemed it necessary to show any official appreciation.

“As a state, we had put in so much, we worked very hard to host the Super Eagles in Uyo. We did a lot to spur the team to victory. But I’m surprised that up till this moment I am talking to you, we have not received any official appreciation from the football management body.”

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Monday Uko, attributed the victory of Akwa United to the support of the state government.

He said, “In all honesty, let me say that the Akwa United’s victory would never have been possible without the effective support of the governor. So, I must thank the governor for his commitment and deep-rooted interest in sports as a whole.”

The state executive council also approved that the Akwa Ibom state government-owned Tropicana Entertainment centre in Uyo, the state capital, be leased to a private consortium.

The October edition of the state executive council meeting was preceded by Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Akwa United Beat Niger Tornadoes To Win Aiteo Cup

Governor Ambode with Governor Emmanuel Udom (2nd right); Deputy Governor of Niger State, Mr. Ahmed Muhammed Ketso (right); President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick (left); representative of Sport Minister, Mr. Nansel Nimyel (2nd left) and Captain of Akwa United, Otobong Effiong (3rd left) during the cheque presentation to the winners of the AITEO Cup.

Akwa United beat Niger Tornadoes on penalties to win the 2017 Aiteo Cup after a 0-0 draw in Sunday’s final in Lagos.

Striker Gabriel Okechukwu scored the decisive spot-kick in sudden death to win the shoot-out 3-2 after both teams failed to score in a drab match.

Substitute Okechukwu had failed to convert the biggest chance of the day in the 85th minute when he was clear on goal with only goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko to beat.

The victory means that Akwa will play in the CAF Confederation Cup next season, having lost in the 2016 preliminary round.

In a dire first 45 minutes, Friday Ubong was denied a clear sight on goal by a timely header from Niger Tornadoes defender Reuben Ogbonnaya.

Musa Newman was let down by a poor first touch just before half-time, with the teams having to wait until penalties to decide the final.

AFP

Akwa Utd, Starlets Qualify For Federation Cup

akwa unitedNigeria Professional Football League side, Akwa United FC and Nigeria National League outfit, Akwa Starlets will represent Akwa Ibom State in this year’s Federation Cup after winning their semi-final matches on Friday.

In the first semifinal match played at the training pitch of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa United needed a penalty shootout to beat Nationwide league side Ibom Youth FC 3-1 after playing 1-1 in regulation time.

Akwa United’s top scorer Alhassan Ibrahim came off the bench to put the Promise Keepers ahead when he tapped in Christian Pyagbara’s beautiful cross into the net in the 73rd minute.

Ibom Youth FC leveled the scores in the 84th minute through Kuyak Ime to force the game into penalty shootout.

Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Aremu Afeez and Christian Pyagbara all scored, while Amaechi Orji missed his spot kick.

Goalkeeper Emmanuel Iwu saved Ibom Youth’s firs spot kick, before the Nationwide league side went on to miss two more kicks and get knocked out 3-1 by the 2015 Federation Cup Champions.

Speaking after the match, Coach Abdul Maikaba said he was excited to see his team qualify for the Federation Cup and maintained that he is fully focused in winning his first trophy for Akwa United.

“I am very happy with the outcome of the match. There are no more small teams in football, especially in knockout games like the FA Cup. Ibom Youth gave their best but we are excited that we won”.

” We score first, they equalised, it was a match that could have gone either way. The lottery of penalty shootout is no respecter of any team”.

“Now our target is to win the state’s FA Cup and also set our sight on winning it at the national level” said Maikaba.

In the second semifinal, Oliver Udoh scored the only goal of the match in the second half to help Akwa Starlets beat Non-league side Hills FC 1-0 at the Uyo township stadium to progressed to final.

Seven time champions Akwa United will engage two time champions Akwa Starlets in what will be a repeat of last year’s final on Sunday May 7th 2017.

NRA Urges LMC To Clamp On Hooliganism In NPFL

Courtesy: www.npfl.ng

The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), has called on the League Management Company (LMC) to clamp on the rising tide of hooliganism.

This followed the persistent attack on some of its members officiating in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in some venues.

Three referees that handled Sunday’s NPFL game between Kano Pillars and Akwa United were manhandled by the home fans at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.

The NRA in a statement lashed out at the club’s officials for inciting the fans against its members, irrespective of the outcomes of their games.

The statement added that it would not hesitate to withdraw its members from the league if the ugly trend continues.

NPFL: Rivers United, MFM FC Defeat Opponents

NPFL: Rivers United, MFM FC Defeat OpponentsIt was a delightful match for Rivers United as they defeated defending champions Enugu Rangers on Sunday evening.

The Nigerian south-south team, who finished second last season, beat their visitors 1-0 to clinch their third win of the season.

Elsewhere, MFM FC thrashed Remo 1-0 while Akwa United beat El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 at the Nest of Champions in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Sunshine Stars also defeated Wikki Tourists 1-0, just as the clash between ABS FC and Katsina United ended in same score line.

Also, Lobi Stars beat visiting Gombe United 1-0; Niger defeated Nasarawa 2-0 while Kano Pillars recorded the biggest feat with a 3-1 win against Enyimba International.

Meanwhile, the game between FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Abia Warriors ended 2-2 while Shooting Stars held league leaders Plateau United to a 1-1 draw.

Former Football Referee Urges NPFL Players To Get Acquainted With New Rules

FIFA ranking, Super EaglesFormer FIFA badge referee, Linus Mba, has urged football players and referees in Nigeria to be acquainted with latest changes in the rules of the game as approved by world’s football governing body in the upcoming 2016/17 NPFL season.

Mba made the call while interacting with Akwa United media unit at the end of a one day seminar organised for players of the club by the management of the team in Uyo.

The Former President of the Nigerian Referees Association, explained that adequate knowledge and understanding of the latest changes in the rules of the game would help players avoid committing unnecessary fouls during matches.

“Players usually get confused with the interpretations of the laws of the game, and as a result, they commit lots of fouls in the field of play.

“Laws guiding the game have been reshaped in such a way that decisions are more flexible and fair, so players deserve to know more about the latest changes,” Mba explained.

The former referee said changes in the laws of the game would be implemented in the NPFL for the first time this season.

He however urged referees to ensure they give proper interpretation of the laws during matches in the coming football season.

“Series of seminars have been organised for referees in this country in respect to the latest changes in the rules of the game, so as to make them more conversant with the changes.

“The level of success may not be 100 per cent but we are sure that it will help referees to make fair decisions during matches,” Mba said.

The latest changes in the rules of football focus on incidents that attract yellow and red cards, offside decisions, restarting of games, changes in line-up, as well as issues on substitutions.

Former FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s Coach Takes Heartland FC Technical Adviser Job

NPFL, Rivers United, Rangers, Rivers United, wikki tourists, NPFL, Abia WarriorsThe Imo state government has appointed Cameroonian born and former coach of FC Ifeanyi Uba, Emmanuel Deutsch, as the new Technical Adviser of the Heartland Football club of Owerri.

The new Technical Adviser was unveiled on Wednesday at a media briefing in Owerri the Imo state capital southeast Nigeria by the management of the club.

Coach Deutsch said his mission was to restore dignity to the already relegated club and return them to the Nigeria Premier League.

He says his tenure will harp on discipline and hard work in order to ensure success of the club.

According to him, camp will open for training by November 29 ahead of the new season.

“I am here on a mission. I am in Nigeria for business. No time to play. I am here to rescue Heartland Football Club of Owerri and return the club to a top flight club.

“I do not condone indiscipline. You can ask about me, I am a very disciplined man because for someone to succeed, you need to be disciplined and hardworking. I do not want anybody to send me any letter or any inducement on behalf of any player, I am not here for that.

“I have integrity and I believe if you people support me, Heartland will get back to the premier league and with that my name will stand. There is no old or new player in heartland. We are all one.

“All I need is your support, the support of the government, players, the technical crew, fans and especially the media.

“You might criticise me, but let it be constructive criticisms. I know with your support heartland FC will get back to the top. You shouldn’t bother about my own technical skills. I am an A-list coach. I just came back from an A-list course I took in Abuja and I promise to deliver,” Coach Deutsch said.

The Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, who also doubles as the supervisor of the club, Honourable Ugonna Ozuruigbo, said that the state government would give the new technical crew all the needed support to succeed.

“We promise you that the state government will support you. We will give you everything you need to support including all your financial needs, our prayer is for Heartland FC to return to the premier league and we believe you can do it, just as the technical crew has recommended you,” Honourable Ozuruigbo said.

Coach Deutsch is an A-class coach who has worked with clubs like Giant killers Kafanchan, JC Ralders Jos, Akwa United, Unicem Rovers of Calabar, Juth FC, Botafago FC in Cameroon and FC Ifeanyi Uba of Anambra State.

The Heartland Football Club of Owerri was relegated for the first time last season. They will be competing with other teams in the national division league to win their place back in the Nigeria Premier league.

Federation Cup Final To Be Played On November 6

federation cupFederation CupThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have confirmed that this year’s men and women Federation Cup final, will be played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, on November 6, 2016.

Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens will lock horns in the women’s finals which kicks off by 1pm.

While the much-anticipated final between Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club and Nasarawa United will also take place at same venue with the match expected to start at 3.30pm.

Lagos state has hosted the last five finals of the Federation Cup.

Nasarawa United shocked defending champions Enyimba to make it into their dream final, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah defeated giant killers Crown FC 2-1 in Kaduna.

Winners in the Federation Cup get to represent Nigeria in Africa’s second tier club competition, the CAF Confederation Cup.

NPFL: Abia Warriors Vow To ‘Fight’ Wikki In Bauchi

wikki tourists, NPFL, Abia WarriorsAbia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia striker, Chinenye Agoha, has declared that they will give Wikki Tourists a run for their money when they clash in this weekend’s matchday 28 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter at the Abubakar Tafewa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi.

Agoha, who scored the only goal in Abia Warriors’ 1-0 victory over visiting Warri Wolves last Sunday in Umuahia, said the win was a sign of better days ahead.

“We had some bad results in the recent past mainly because of the injury which hit many of our key players but we have overcome that now and ready to re-establish ourselves as one of the best in Nigeria”, Agoha, a mid-season signing said.

According to the Afugiri, Umuahia-born hitman who joined Abia Warriors from Giwa FC of Jos, the players have made up their minds to fight for a good result in Bauchi this weekend.

“We know Wikki is good this season, we are also good and that is why fans should expect good football this weekend”, he said.

Agoha, who was one of the players released by the League Management Company (LMC) to join a club of their choice after Giwa was thrown out of the league for not honouring three matches earlier this season, said he has already warned his captain and friend at Giwa, Charles Henlong who is now with Wikki Tourists to get ready for him as Abia Warriors were not in Bauchi on a picnic but on a serious business.

He said that he was pleased the way the league is being run now as anybody can pick points anywhere without any incidents and commended the LMC and the referees for a job well done so far.

Federation Cup: Round of 16 Matches Postponed

Federation Cup, NFFThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has postponed matches of the Round of 16 of the 2016 Men Federation Cup competition as well as the quarter–final matches of the women competition due to the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations.

After the Federal Government announcement on Friday that there would be public holidays on Tuesday, 5th July and Wednesday, 6th July for the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations, the NFF had to reschedule the Round of 16 matches of the men’s competition and the quarter final matches of the women’s event for Tuesday, 12th July and Wednesday, 13th July 2016.

Sunshine Stars of Akure go up against Akwa United in Makurdi on Tuesday, 12th July as Crown FC of Ogbomosho and Enugu Rangers go for a tug in Kaduna on the same day.

In–form Rivers United and five–time champions Shooting Stars will now battle at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Wednesday, 13th July, as Wikki Tourists of Bauchi confront Plateau United in Akure in other all –NPFL clashes.

NPFL side FC IfeanyiUbah will take on Katsina United at the Kwara Sports Complex, Ilorin on Wednesday, 13th July while Nasarawa United will test might with Dynamite FC of Benin City at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on the same day as Warri Wolves are up against Prime FC of Oshogbo at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.

The postponed Round of 32 clash between Enyimba FC and El-Kanemi Warriors will come up in Abuja on Wednesday, 13th July, keeping Round of 16 opponents J. Atete on holiday.

In the women’s competition, Abia Angels will take to the field in Lokoja against Nasarawa Amazons, as Delta Queens and Katsina Queens do battle in Abuja on Tuesday, 12th July.

Champions Sunshine Queens will tango with Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt in Abuja on Wednesday, 13th July and Bayelsa Queens and COD United Ladies of Lagos trade tackles in Oleh.

 

Men’s Round Of 16

Akwa United Vs Sunshine Stars         – Makurdi    – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Crown FC Vs Enugu Rangers            – Kaduna     – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Rivers United Vs Shooting Stars         – Kaduna     – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Wikki Tourists Vs Plateau United       – Akure       – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Katsina United Vs FC IfeanyiUbah      – Ilorin        – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Prime FC Vs Warri Wolves               – Makurdi    – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Dynamite FC Vs Nasarawa United      – Lokoja      – 13/7/16     – 4pm.

J. Atete Vs Enyimba FC/El-Kanemi Warriors

Note: Enyimba FC Vs El-Kanemi Warriors Round of 32 to be played in Abuja on Wednesday, July 13 by 4pm.

 

Women’s Quarter Finals

Nasarawa Amazons Vs Abia Angels    – Lokoja      – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Delta Queens Vs Katsina Queens        – Abuja        – 12/7/16     – 2pm

COD United Vs Bayelsa Queens         – Oleh                  – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Sunshine Queens Vs Rivers Angels     – Abuja        – 13/7/16     – 4pm