The Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) kicks-off on Saturday with the defending Champions, Nasarawa Amazons playing host to Rasheedat Ajibade and FC Robo at the Lafia Township Stadium.
ACLSports caught up with last season’s player of the year, Ajibade who reflected on a career defining season and also expressed hope for the upcoming season.
“I give glory to God. Last season was great for me because I won the award for the best player in the NWFL. I was also the joint highest goalscorer in the league with 8 goals.”
As captain of Lagos-based NWFL side, FC Robo, Ajibade went further to share her thoughts on the team’s performance in the past season. “Thank God for the success of last season, there was no injury and no casualty.”
“At the beginning of the league, we were at the top of the table but all of a sudden; we don’t know what happened (physical and spiritual things attached anyway), we found ourselves around 4th position in the second round of the league.”
What do you mean by physical and spiritual things? “Probably we were not fervent enough in prayers spiritually or we didn’t put our maximum efforts in the game physically,” she explained.
Still on her exploits in the past season during which she was part of the team to Ivory Coast for the WAFU Cup and scooped quite a number of awards including the AITEO/NFF female young player of the year award. When asked if the awards could be seen as a recognition of her hard work she said: “I would say so, because personally I was able to put in my own efforts and I appreciate my team for going along with me because I know I can’t do it alone.”
Adding that “the experience at WAFU was great for me. I appreciate God for giving me the grace to be among the players invited to the team and it was really nice winning the bronze medal despite the fact that we had a short period of time to prepare for the competition. It went well, and it was a great experience especially being under a foreign coach.”
Ahead of the new season which begins on Saturday, 7th of April, she has no specific personal targets and only hopes to better last seasons’ performance.
“My personal target is in the hands of God; because last season, I also had targets but God manifested the one he wanted for me and it was beyond my own understanding that I had all those awards last season.
“Man proposes and God disposes at times. Before this season, like few seasons ago; I’ve been facing series of predicaments like sickness and all that and I’m just recovering. So I’m trying my best to ensure I’m fit for this season to make sure I better my last season,” the FC Robo attacker and captain said.
The Lagos-based team face the reigning Champions
in the league season’s opener and Ajibade noted that the team is ready for the season and the league opener against the Champions.
“We’ve been playing series of friendly matches, we do the necessary things in training and we are all putting in our maximum effort to make sure we are fully and well prepared for the season.
“So playing the league champions, it’s all in the hands of God. We’re not under pressure. The thing is just to put our hearts and play the game. Nobody is an island. They are ladies, we’re ladies as well; we just have to exhibit our youthfulness on that day,” the FC Robo forward said.
“If we play well, there will be positive results,” she added.