There was a part of me, a small part of me that wanted to just dribble everyone expecting the final result this morning. I mean, everyone is here expecting to get the news of who the Enyimba player of the season is, so how about just making up some cock and bull story and pushing the results till tomorrow or maybe just do an INEC and declare it inconclusive? Would be fun, won’t it?
Yes maybe but that would be silly. Moreover what would I title the post? The ‘logistics’ for this dribbling isn’t easy. So respecting myself is just about the right thing to do. In the real sense tho, a good number of you should know who the winner of the Enyimba Player of the Season. I mean this guy got 34% of your votes. But because you guys aren’t comparing notes or discussing each what the other voted, there’s no way to tell you all nearly voted him.
Enough of the dilly dallying, the Enyimba Player of the 2015/2016 Season is none other than the one we nicknamed Safe Hands Theo, ladies and gentlemen, Theophilus Afelokhai. Before we delve into discussing the Season of the former Kano Pillars captain, I’ll like to point out that yours truly also voted for him as the player of the Season.
Someone said on social media yesterday, how that no Enyimba player deserved any accolades because the club had a bad season. I think that’s wrong and untrue and guess what? As bad as our season was, up until match day 32, we were still well within touching distance of the league leaders. As spectacular as Rangers were last season, they fell short of the points haul we won the league with. So, disappointed with our final standings yea, but we can still celebrate those who distinguished themselves.
When I learnt that Safe Hands Theo was joining us at the start of the Season, I was elated. Why? I was in no doubt as to his quality. I’d seen this guy play so impressively and indeed captain Pillars in the past that I wondered when we would get a keeper of such character. With due respect to the other goalkeepers in the team, I think Afelokhai tops up his goalkeeping ability with a strong and respectable personality. That is not always on the sidewalks.
He was immediately handed the reins in between the sticks and surprisingly title winning Femi was dropped to the bench. I think Femi was our best goalkeeper in that title winning season. We owe it to him that we won the title because the rest of the guys hardly stated a claim for a strong place in our line-up. So for someone to walk in and usurp Femi of his place, it had to be something special.
Four games stood out for me among the Enyimba games I saw last season in analyzing Theo’s year. First was that unbelievable night in Sousse where Theo’s brilliance in goal for us saved three spot kicks and sent us into the group stages of the CAF Champions League. Next was the game against Akwa United in Uyo shortly afterwards. Theo would save with whatever part of his body he could. That helped us keep the clean sheet that ensured a defeat for Akwa United in Uyo.
Then was the goalless draw with MFM in Lagos. Probably I have the order mixed up but that was another game where Safe Hands Theo pulled save after save to ensure we left the Agege stadium with a point in bag. The fourth would be the semifinal against Nasarawa United in Ibadan. Yea we lost 1-0 and even many blame him for the penalty but to be honest, except for Theo it could have been a rout. We were that bad. I admit.
In a season which we all can’t wait to forget, Safe Hands Theo was one of the brightest spots. It’s surely going to be a fierce battle for anyone looking to reclaim the first choice jersey from him but that of course is a ‘good problem’ for the gaffer. On the basis of what we saw this first season, we can be in the market for anything but a top goalkeeper because we have a couple of them right now.
So, Congratulations Safe Hands Theo, you are ThatEnyimbaFan’s Enyimba Player of the 2015/2016 Season.
I think we would get a full interview with the goalkeeper on the blog in the next few days.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting. It’s very well appreciated. Your support and encouragement to those of us who write on the blog daily is immense. Thank you. And for those who didn’t or rather never joins the voting. REPENT!!! Change your ways. CHANGE. I’m sure it’s a term quite familiar to folks here in the country!
Blog done and dusted for today.
There was a part of me, a small part of me that wanted to just dribble everyone expecting the final result this morning. Thank God I overcame the temptation of the devil right there…
Back tomorrow and yea, have a wonderful month of November.