Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) has promised to ensure Sunshine Stars secure a continental ticket in the new Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
The new ODSFA Chairman, Tajudeen Akinyemi, made the pledge on Saturday during an interactive session with members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigerian (SWAN), Ondo Chapter, in Akure, the state capital.
“What we want is a continental ticket. Most of our regular players that have been retained will be well motivated to deliver that for us,” he said.
“We have total faith and confidence in our technical crew led by Duke Udi, given what they were able to do last season.”
Mr Akinyemi was confident that the purported crowd unrest during game in Akure would be curbed with some unprecedented measures that would be put in place moving forward.
He said: “We want to advocate a law backing this cause in the State Assembly, but we understand it will take time. So for now, we are using the carrot and stick approach to handle the spectators.
“There will stakeholders’ meeting to enlighten and sensitise the fans and the stick approach is invoking the full wrath of the law on anyone found wanting.”
The new chairman, who is a long time FIFA licensed agent and sports magnate, however, decried the lack of home-grown talents in over a decade in the state.
“Since we discovered and nurtured great players like Geoffrey Oboabona, Sunday Abe, Dayo Ojo, Tunde Adeniji, Alaba Adeniyi, and others around 2003; it is a shame that no single talent has been developed in the state,” he said.
“We are surely going back to talent discovery project to sustain our footballing future; also, exporting some of our players abroad to increase our IGR is part of our long-time plans”.
The Interim Management Committee of the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) has inaugurated new technical committee members for Sunshine Stars FC.
The committee said the move was part of efforts to ensure that the Akure-based club records a decent outing at the end of the ongoing soccer season in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the committee, Mr Gbenga Elegbeleye, explained that members of the technical committee were carefully selected based on their proven track records.
“We thank God for the journey so far and we appreciate the support we have received from the football family and the entire soccer loving people of the state.
“Members of the technical committee are people with great knowledge of the game and we hope they will use their wealth of experience to take our darling team, Sunshine Stars to the next level,” he said.
ODSFA Technical Director, Mr Sunday Erelesusi, also charged members of the technical committee to put all hands on deck.
On his part, Vice Chairman of the technical committee, Mr Steve Alabi, promised that they would work closely with the team’s technical crew led by Austin Eguavoen, to achieve the desired results.
“We know what is at stake and we are ready to face the challenges; a great call to serve and by the grace of God and the support of all football stakeholders, we shall reach the promise land,” he said.
The technical committee has Prince Tunde Ogunja as Chairman and Mr Oyewole Ajidagba as Secretary, while other members are Mr Dele Ogungbemi, Mr Fidelis Fabidun, Mr Yomi Ifabumuyi, and Mr Ayodele Clement.
The Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) has unveiled a new set of technical crew for Sunshine Stars Football Club.
The ODSFA appointed former Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen as Head Coach and erstwhile Nigerian international, Ike Shorunmu as Goalkeeper Trainer.
They have been employed with the task to help Sunshine Stars escape relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Performing the unveiling, the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the ODSFA, Mr Gbenga Elegbeleye, urged the new coaches to be alive to their new responsibilities in a bid to revive the team.
He said with the position of the team on the league table, sentiments must be put aside in recruiting of players and ensure the club performs well in the FA Cup.
“Sunshine Stars as a football team is the darling team of everybody in Ondo State and their current position is not where we feel they should be if we check the league table now. Sunshine are either on 18th or 19th position and sincerely speaking, the Sunshine Stars that I know should be among the very first three teams.
“So, if we are in this current situation and if care is not taken, the team will go on relegation. For this team to move up, we don’t have to put sentiments in recruiting players.
“The agreement is that the coaches will not get more than what the former coaches were getting as salary, it’s a sacrifice. I want you to know that based on our personal relationship with them, we want them to come and support the team because we want to swim out of relegation waters as a team.
“By the grace of God, this team will not go on relegation. The assignment is to make sure Sunshine Stars do not go on relegation; and secondly, make sure they do well in the FA Cup,” the football administrator said.
Coach Eguavoen, who said the team is good, stressed the need to fortify the squad with more players for optimum performance in the NPFL.
He said that the leadership of the team would work hard, assuring Mr Elegbeleye that the club would have a cause to celebrate at the end of the season.
“We all have a job to do; the players, the supporters club, everybody is important. There will be rough times, there will be good times, but the ability to stick together matters. We have to be up and doing, Sunshine is not a bad team but the situation may make players lose confidence and concentration. It is only important that we bring in some more players to fortify the team.
“I’m with you all the way, the work has started from today. I urge everyone here and wherever to try as much as possible to give their prayers the support they need. We will work hard day and night because this situation we are in is not the best. At the end of the season, we will all gather to celebrate by the grace of God,” the new Head Coach promised.
The Management of the Ondo State Football Agency, ODSFA has inaugurated the Sunshine Stars’ U-13, U-15 and U-17 teams.
This, according to the agency, was in a bid to ensure that talented footballers in all the nooks and crannies of the state are given opportunity to be part of Sunshine Stars,
The ceremony took place at the football village office of the state football agency at Oda road in Akure.
Addressing the players, President of Sunshine Stars Football Club, Prince Dapo Ajibade, while congratulating the players, charged them to live up to their dreams.
Prince Ajibade, who is also the ODSFA boss, stressed the importance of the project.
According to him, the project will be coordinated by the Technical Department of the agency under the supervision of Deputy Director, Mr Kayode Julius.
“We thank God Almighty for this day as we begin another process of football development. It is very important to have Sunshine Stars’ teams at the U-13, U15 and U-17 levels so as to give room for development and progression in addition to empowering and giving future to the talented players”.
The ODSFA Chairman added that the agency would make available all logistics to make the project huge success, as sporting equipment needed would be provided.
“25 balls will be given to each team which will also get 2 sets of bibs as well as some medical facilities in addition to soccer boots that will be given to each of the 25 players in each team.
“Coach Chinedu Obi is in charge of the U-13 team while Coach Sunday Adewoye will tutor the U-15 team, just as Coach Monday Eche will oversee the players at the U-17 level.
“The teams’ general coordinator is Mr Shina Afuye while Mr Abideen Ayeloja will serve as the teams’ manager,” he said.
The Technical Director of the agency, coach Sunday Erelesusi charged all members of the technical staff to show good morals and commitment needed to mentor the young talents.
Meanwhile, the ODSFA Management has approved the appointment of Mr Abiodun Kehinde Johnson, popularly known as Legacy as one of the scouts working for Sunshine Stars.
Abiodun Kehinde Johnson as a footballer had stints with Works Rangers of Akure, Crown of Ogbomoso, 1st Bank of Lagos, Rising Stars of Ondo and Sunshine Stars of Akure.
The new Sunshine Stars Scout promised to use his wealth of experience to bring quality players to the Akure based team.