Dapo Sotuminu, Ijebu Ode
The chairman of the newly promoted Nigeria Professional Football League club, Warri Wolves Football Club, Moses Etu, has applauded the organizers of the Governor Dapo Abiodun Preseason Football Tournament which started Wednesday in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
Etu, noted that, from what he saw his team played against Remo Stars at the Dipo Dina Stadium, he saw a marked improvement in the playing pattern of his team, compared to their performance at the Nigeria National League Super 4, played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, last week.
“From all indications, by the time my players play more games in Ijebu Ode, they will be fully ready for the return to the elite league after gaining promotion to the NPFL at the end of last season in the lower league.
“More of this kind of pre-season tournaments should be encouraged in Nigeria. I give kudos to the team of organizers headed by the Vice chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, Otunba Tade Azeez.
“Pre-season events like these, will put top clubs in Nigeria in top form ahead of the new season. It will also allow club coaches to try newly signed players towards solid adaptations to their various playing patterns and match strategies which they hope to perfect when the season proper kicks off.
Speaking on the tournament, Etu, said Warri Wolves is using the opportunity of the Gov Abiodun Pre-season tournament to re-assess the team after the team’s below average performance at the NNL Super 4 in Enugu.
“We are already in Ijebu Ode and we drew our first game against Remo Stars and we want to thank the Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonoboko Okowa, for this gesture. We owe him a great gift this season for all that he has done for Warri Wolves.”
He added that: “We are using the Gov Dapo Abiodun Pre-Season to take a second look at the team and the calibre of teams here will help us, especially as we have top NPFL clubs like Rivers United, Kano Pillars, MFM FC, Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars, among others.
Meanwhile, the captain of Kwara United of Ilorin, Akeem Onigbari, has declared his team’s mission in Ijebu Ode. He said after Kwara United played a 2-2 draw against Crown FC, that, the Harmony Boys are in Ijebu Ode to win the Pre-Season tournament.
The Kwara United captain who was ruled out of action at the Gov Okowa Pre-Season in Asaba, last week, due to malaria fever, expressed optimism that he is fit enough to help his team win the tournament’s title in Ijebu Ode.
The results of some of the matches played on Wednesday afternoon saw former League Champions, Lobi Stars beating Collins Edwin FC of Lagos 4-2, Kano Pillars defeated MFM FC 1-0 and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan and Gateway FC of Abeokuta played a 2-2 draw.
In other results, Crown FC of Ogbomoso played a 2-2 draw against Kwara United, Insurance FC of Benin City shocked Rivers United 3-1, while Warri Wolves and Remo Stars played a goalless draw al at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode.
Meanwhile, Delta Force of Asaba arrived Wednesday evening and would play against Warri Wolves Thursday in their first game of the competition.
The Governor Dapo Abiodun Pre season tourney began yesterday at the main bowl of the Dipo Dina International Stadium and the stadium two training pitches that are also artificial turfs.
The 14 Participating teams at the maiden edition of Dapo Abiodun preseason tournament have been grouped into three. They are:
Group A: Sunshine Stars FC, Kano Pillars FC, MFM FC and Collin Edwin SC.
Group B: Crown FC, Shooting Stars, Gateway United FC, Kwara United FC and Lobi Stars FC.
Group C: Delta Force FC, Remo Stars FC, Bendel Insurance, Rivers United FC and Warri Wolves FC.