Posted by News Express | 2 August 2015 | 3,464 times
Coaches and officials involved in the Globacom Premier League on Saturday expressed optimism that the second stanza of the 2014/2015 league season would inspire better performance.
The league is scheduled to commence on Aug. 2.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that following the thrilling performance of the league, they hoped it would improve clubs’ performances in the second phase.
NAN recalls that the first phase of the league ended on July 19 with 10 sensational games played by 20 clubs.
The coaches observed that the league recorded huge success due to strategic improvements in match officiating, television coverage and adequate security at match venues by the League Management Company (LMC).
The Coach of Shooting Stars (3SC) of Ibadan, Gbenga Ogunbote, said he hoped to finish the season in a better position with the club.
“I have been given a target by the management of 3SC to finish the league in a good position but every coach’s dream is to grab a continental ticket.
“I will be happy with any one that I am able to achieve.”
He also said the remarkable improvements put in place by the LMC needed to be sustained; stressing that more live coverage should be maintained.
“We need the LMC to look into televising more matches live for every club because this draws spectators to match venues, when they see how much the league has evolved, they would get interested in coming out.”
The media officer of Heartland FC of Owerri, Cajetan Nkwopara hoped that the team would make an impact in the league and clinch the continental ticket.
“We hope to start this second round with a sense of determination and urgency, we are also targeting either the first, second and third position in the league.
“Our squad is improving and we are looking to add more players to fortify our team before registration and commencement of the second phase of the 2014/2015 season.
He expressed optimism that there would be an improvement in salaries and allowances, commending LMC’s initiative to hold matches in the evening.
“There is need to have a fixed and constant salary structure for clubs as some states still battle with payments.
“Also the LMC has brought the idea for matches to be played in the evenings.
“While this is a good development, equipment such as floodlights are needed to ensure the environment is well lit.
“Also, effective security arrangement has been put in place to keep spectators safe and give the league more credibility.”
The LMC President, Shehu Dikko, advised clubs to create alternative means of income generation to reposition their clubs and meet the needs of players.
Coach of Warri Wolves FC Paul Aigbogun said the club was contending for the title in the season, with only three points that separated them from leaders, Sunshine Stars and second placed Enyimba.
He, however, said that he was confident of the team.
On the other hand, the board of Kano Pillars wants Baba Ganaru to rebuild the team after a poor first round in the league.
Baba Ganaru, who is returning to Pillars after joining Nasarawa United in 2013, said that he would be honoured to get Kano Pillars back on track in the second stanza.
He was replaced by former Enyimba Coach, Okey Emordi, who was fired in July, following a string of poor results in the league and cup competitions.
Harry Iwuala LMC spokesperson said he was delighted to see confidence building in spectators which in turn was increasing turnouts because of the interest generated by the standard of games played during the league.
“It is very impressive to see confidence building in the league by spectators, there was no abandoned games in the first round.
“And the league is getting a lot of attention from the media which in turn is shaping the league for better.”
The fixtures for week 20 games are El-Kanemi Warriors vs 3sc, Wikki Tourists v Heartland, Dolphins FC v Nasarawa United, Giwa FC v Kwara United, FC Ifeanyi Ubah v Abia Warriors.
Also playing are Sharks v Warri Wolves, FC Taraba v Sunshine Stars, Enyimba v Rangers, Bayelsa United v Akwa United and Kano Pillars v Lobi Stars.
The match of the week is Enyimba vs. Rangers in Aba. (NAN)
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