The concluding part of Faith Oluchi’s NWFL preview. Part 1 is here
In Akure, Abia Angels will face hosts Sunshine Queens in their season opener. Having finished sixth in their group last season, the team led by NFF’s Women Coach of the year Ann Chiejine are out to improve their performance in the league this season and have prepared adequately well with a series of top grade friendly matches.
They played seven friendly matches in which they won one, drew two and lost four. Assistant Coach of the club Chukwu Igwe also wants to win the trophy. “My expectation is for us to get to the Super four and win the trophy,” he said succinctly.
Sunshine Queens want to shine again
Sunshine Queens will hope to overturn their disappointing outing last season after finishing third in their group. The club have two Cameroonians among the newly acquired thirteen players.
Team’s assistant coach Niyi John also believes that Sunshine Queens will win the double this season. “My expectation this season is for Sunshine Queens to win double this season.”
Coach Niyi is also confident that Sunshine Queens will beat Abia Angels in match day one. “I expect three goals and three points against Abia Angels and we will put in our best to make it happen,” boasted John.
- Two players to watch out for in Sunshine Queens this season are Carin Mbuh and Precious Vincent.
The dark horses clash in Ilorin
Heartland Queens will be away to play one of the newly promoted sides; Sure Babes at the Kwara State Sports Complex, Ilorin.
This is an interesting matchup which pundits will find difficult to correctly predict the winner. A regenerated Heartland Queens will hope to make a strong statement in the league this season and that is why they have been absolutely silent on their preparations to avoid distraction.
Heartland head coach Eucheria Uche is of the opinion that her Queens will come out on top this season. “Everyone will always wish for the best and I believe Heartland Queens will finish well this season,” said the former Super Falcons player and coach.
Uche also believes that the match in Ilorin will be the starting point for them to achieve whatever they have planned for this season.
“The match in Ilorin is our first match of the season and we hope to take it serious in order to get a good result.”
Meanwhile, the underdogs Sure Babes have sent warning signals to teams not to underrate them or perhaps do so at their own peril.
Team’s boss Ajayi Ismaila Kolawole promised that his team is coming into the league to surprise other teams.
“I know other clubs will see us as underdogs but they should be ready for the surprises we will offer them,” he avowed.
Sure Babes wants to remain in the league and that seems to be their target this season as confirmed by the coach who said that he is sixty percent expectant but will be glad if they make it to the Super four.
“My expectation is sixty percent and that’s to remain in the league but we will be happy if we get to make it to Super Four,” added Kolawole
He further explained how prepared his side are to face Heartland Queens while promising maximum victory for his side. “The match against Heartland Queens is our first match in the top league and we want to make sure we get our first victory at home in order to make our fans happy,” he submitted.
Osun Babes on the rise
The Osun state government sponsored side are hoping to improve their performance this season after finishing 3rd from their group last season. The Omoluabi Queens led by Liadi Basiru are hopeful of being among the teams that will qualify for Super four.
According to Basiru, they have prepared very well for this new season after recruiting twelve new players and a spot at the season-ending Super Four will be a good reward for them.
“We have prepared so well and have worked hard, so I think reaching the Super four will be a good reward for us,” opined Basiru.
They open their campaign with an away tie at Pelican Stars in Calabar and Basiru is mindful of the fact that their opponents are one of the oldest teams in the league. He remains confident regardless that his team is equal to the task when they get to meet on Wednesday.
“Pelican Stars are one of the oldest teams and we expect a tough match but we are equal to the task to face them,” Basiru said.
Match Day One Fixtures
Edo Queens vs Ibom Angels
Confluence Queens vs Bayelsa Queens
Sure Babes vs Heartland Queens
Delta Queens vs Rivers Angels
Nasarawa Amazons vs FC Robo (April 7)
Jokodolu Babes vs Adamawa Queens
Pelican Stars vs Osun Babes
Sunshine Queens vs Abia Angels
All games hold on Wednesday April 11, 2018 unless otherwise stated.
By Faith Oluchi (Twitter @trendyfaith)