Good morning ladies and gentlemen. One of my favorite scriptures is where Jesus said: “When the son of man returns, shall he still find faith in the earth?”. And as we watch the events of the past couple of days and indeed the near future with our beloved Enyimba, we pause and wonder, “when the season starts, shall we still find any icons left at our Enyimba?”
It’s become expedient to ask this because well, going by the news all over the place, it looks as though there may not be left at the club any player with more than 3 years of playing history with us. Yesterday, it became about 90% certain that Chinedu Udoji is indeed leaving the club. The captain took to his Facebook to express this and just in case you missed it, Holla and I’ll show you what he typed and the reaction via comments and several related Facebook posts.
As though that isn’t all, it also appears Emma Anyanwu, Razak Aliyu and Sikiru Kamal will all be joining him at Kano Pillars too. Well they were players who won the League with us and indeed Kadiri Ikhana the previous season while we was the gaffer here and with the drama of last season, looks like they’re jumping ship to reunite with the man they played their hearts out for. Someone made a joke of it – You took Pillars’ captain Afelokhai, now Pillars want four of yours.
Those are the ones in the media but sadly and painfully, it doesn’t look like that’s all. There are rumors Nzube Anaezemba may be joining Nonso Okonkwo, Markson Ojobo and Idris Aloma at Rivers United. Someone also whispered that a certain new player, one of last season’s standout performers said he was regretting jumping ship and joining Enyimba. There’s also some rumour that Femi Thomas, Moses Ocheje and Ugwu Uwadiegwu amongst others are all leaving too. On the face of it, it looks as though we are in a period of mass exodus.
Players leaving clubs is not alien to football- It happens all the time. It’s just a little worrying when players who could be tagged as icons or representations of the club are all headed out in such fashion. Make no mistakes about it, none of this is official and let’s be honest, all these aforementioned guys could yet wear our Blue next season but it doesn’t eliminate the fact that there’s some steadying of the ship required now by the suits at the club to handle.
You can be rest assured, Enyimba will not go into the coming season without properly equipping itself for the challenge of the year but my worry is for the new gaffer. He’s got some task on his hands and I think it’s about time players actually resumed for the new season. It’s vital to know who you have, who has his hearts at the club and the areas where changes are required. Already a few names have been named as being spotted at the club but we do have quite a number of faces who won’t be there anymore.
It’s an opportunity for the ones who will stay to step up and preserve the Enyimba legacy. Considering the sort of year we had the last time, we are under pressure to make a strong statement this year. We need to fix the stadium, we need to get the playing and coaching personnel happy and focused on the task ahead for the new season. Looking back at how we gifted Rangers the title last year, no one can say there’s a gulf between us and last season’s winners.
It’s a very tough ‘summer’ for us but make no mistakes about it, this isn’t the end of the Enyimba. Perhaps we may not have been briefed on the magnitude of the task facing us but we know toward the end of last season, the new word that trended among the Enyimba faithful and indeed players was ‘Bouncebackability’. How that would be severely tested now. What we are faced with at the moment is either shrugging off these issues, bouncing back to our place at the top or outright extinction. The wise can see this.
To the players who have left or will leave especially our ex-captain, we wish you all the best in your career and future endeavors. We never really did expect that you would play with us forever. So, all the best with your new environment. When any one of you comes with your new team to play against us in Aba, you’ll get the reception you deserve.
Blog is done and dusted for today. Back tomorrow.