Good morning Guys. It’s finally here. The new NPFL season kicks off this weekend, today. It’s been long coming, teams have played and won or lost or drawn friendlies, signed the big names or the ones available, the endless promises about a Continental ticket is of course in the mix as well and the race for the new NPFL Champion would get officially underway at 4pm this evening.
Doubt there has been a more anticipated NPFL season as this. Interestingly in recent memory I can’t think of a Premier League season starting this soon after a previous season. In other words we shouldn’t really have exhausted our end of season break but the cry to the League managers to align our local calendar with that in Europe has gained the upper hand.
And if not Europe, at least to ensure that by the time the African Champions League and other Continental games come, we have gotten some way into our season as our opponents from the other countries. It has been pinpointed at the chief reason why our local teams don’t do well in the Continent. We are only getting started while the other teams, our opponents are well and truly into theirs.
Anyway, this should be the start of it and hopefully that would be sorted- aligning to the European calendar. However the fact remains that when a League starts has little or nothing to do with the performance of local teams in the Continent, especially when you have barely have any teams that can boast of any continuity. When you have teams, big teams signing 12, 13 or even 15 new players every season, brethren, the end product is predictable.
Well for us at Enyimba, we are Enyimba of Calabar this season. It’s very likely that we won’t have to play all home games there before the season is over but it’s no use trying to inspire any hopes. We had tried it severally on the blog here to no avail so we will only report it here when it actually does happen. We can as well dream of playing 18 home games in Calabar while the powers that be get things working the way they ought.
Traveling to PH was tedious last term especially for the fans. Our Champions League fixtures were about another two hours when you add up traffic and all. Then not forgetting the horrible road between PH and Aba last season- fans who did make those trips were “the true heroes of democracy” as someone joked on Twitter. Calabar on the other hand is way further. It’s three hours from Aba and it would be a tough tough ask having fans make such trips.
I don’t know what comes to your mind when you read and see such things happening but to me, there’s a burning desire that things be done differently by those in authority right now. We cannot keep losing the funds that should have come in from gate takings and other similar revenue sources. Even Arsenal in England borrowed money to build their stadium. Can’t we even borrow and have a detailed plan to pay back?
I promised myself I’ll keep this post positive and you know, giddy but everyone ought to stand up to their respective responsibilities otherwise our game will keep lagging behind. Yesterday I saw on the latest FIFA rankings that Nigeria is now 50th in the world. Lagging behind the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Smh.
I believe things can be done rightly- it’s just about people making up their minds to do it rightly. It doesn’t cost much. Those in the key positions should reevaluate and reaccess themselves and be sincere to ask themselves if they really deserve a pat on the back or to step up their efforts. Because at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters- how much you contributed in either building up or tearing down.
Welcome to the new season. I pray it is a good one for all of us and Mr Mfon Udoh will mark his debut season as skipper with a trophy – hopefully the Nigerian Professional Football League title. Amen somebody?
Back tomorrow with our first match preview of the season.