Hello Zamalek, Hello ES Setif, Hello Sundowns

Good morning Big Boys,

The much awaited draws came yesterday and evidently everyone of you must have heard that we were pitted with Zamalek, ES Setif and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the Group B.

The initial reaction was that ours is a very tough group but a look at the other group and you might want to have a rethink. Group A has Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, Asec Mimosas and Zesco United of Zambia. Evidently with four North Africans in the hat, you’d expect each group to have two, so it’s not surprising that it was what we saw.

I refuse to be drawn into the argument of which would have been better for us. Wydad or ES Setif, Zamalek or Al Ahly because I’m pretty sure everyone of those teams in our group would be worried that Enyimba is standing in their way. My point being, there’s hardly any of one them who would view their games with Enyimba as a walk over.

We look at our team and all we see is the flaws and problems of the team, most times we ignore the quality within and the fact that we cannot be easily rolled by. We are the current League Champions and despite an earlier snag, we have found our rhythm and we are improving and we are were we are on merit. You could look at how we got to where we are today and see the gradual but steady improvement and guess what? Everyone in the country believes we have a chance and we can’t afford to prove them wrong.

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The first tie is at ‘Home’ on the 17th of next month and it is against Zamalek of Egypt. At this stage, we cannot see anything as unfortunate or curse our luck, we are just gonna take it all in our stride and attack whatever challenge is before us. If the fixture says it’s Zamalek then we will ensure Zamalek begins their group campaign on a losing note, it’s just as simple as that. I pray we would have that game in Aba, but even if it isn’t in Aba, we will beat them in Port Harcourt, that’s just it guys.

The good thing about the group stages is that, it’s not about conceding a goal at home, it’s about the points. So we attack it like a league fixture. Ensure that we win all games at home and get a couple of away Points. There are teams we should target at least four points off them to ensure we take care of ourselves. Because we just have to make it to the semis.

Are we going to win the Champions League this season? Let’s take it one game at a time. But this is what the players live for, this are the sort of fixtures we crave and this is why we are the Enyimba of the Nigerian League.

If you are on Twitter, you should look up the banter between the Enyimba account and the Zamalek accounts, great stuff, couldn’t help but laugh myself out. Just look up the Enyimba twitter TL and see what I’m talking about.

In all really, this shows us the responsibility we are faced with and the burden to succeed. This is the reason for the massive signings in the off season. This is the reason why it is expedient that whoever represents the country in the Champions League is a team whose character you can vouch for. Imagine playing every game of the season so far away from home, yet we are still within the confines of the Enyimba pedigree.

It’s really not long anymore. With today being 25th May, we have roughly three weeks to that fixture. I hope the lads are readied adequately and I hope the guys on the Enyimba turf project step up their efforts. We will address that- the extent of work so far pretty soon.

The Federations Cup fixtures will be played all across the country this evening. Enyimba has a bye so we sit out this round of games. I love the possibility of cupsets and while it looks unlikely in the fixture I’ll be watching this evening, Rivers United vs Papilo FC in Uyo I’ll still watch nonetheless.

That’s your lot big boys. We dine with the biggest and best in the Continent. We are Enyimba Football Club of Aba.

More from me tomorrow.

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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