NPFL: Everton primed for battle of coaches

NPFL: Everton primed for battle of coaches

Abia Warriors head coach Rafael Everton believes the presence of the country’s top rated coaches in next season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is very good for the league.

Everton, one of seven coaches with new employers ahead of the coming football season won Nigeria’s domestic Cup competition, the Federation Cup (now AITEO Cup) with FC Ifeanyiubah in 2015 and has replaced Abdullahi Biffo in charge of Umuahia based Warriors.

Warriors will begin their fifth consecutive campaign in Nigeria’s top flight with a home tie against CAF Champions League hopefuls MFM FC on January 14.

MFM themselves are managed by a highly rated young coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and Everton says it is good to have good coaches around.  “It is good to have good coaches (in the league) with people coming to see good football. It is very good for the league,” began the Brazilian to

“I believe this league is very, very difficult but I’m very happy (with the collection of coaches). I know Imama (Amapakabo), I know Boboye (Kennedy), I know the coaches and it is good to have them, they make people happy and make the league a very good league.”

Much of the talk in pre-season have been how the young coach Everton is preparing his boys for various tactical solutions ahead of the new season. Aclsports also reported here how the team has practiced a number of times with the 3-4-3 formation. Everton gave an insight into his training regime. “I train in a way that players come to training and are happy because I work with the balls to give them different adaptations.

“My philosophy is to play good football but it is gradual. I like my players to be compact and play good football. I train them in this way and I’m sure people coming (next season) will enjoy the football.”

Everton with Imama Amapakabo

With newly promoted North Eastern team Yobe Desert Stars joining El-Kanemi Warriors and Wikki Tourists in the top flight from that region, many long distance trips await NPFL sides in 2018. Everton’s Abia Warriors will travel to Maiduguri against El-Kanemi on Match Day Two, return home three days later to face champions Plateau United before traveling again to the North to face Kano Pillars three days later.

Everton is not oblivious of this development but thinks it is the same challenge for every team in the league.“We have far journeys in the league and makes it difficult but everybody has the same problems on that,” he posited.

“For me, because of this challenge, I don’t work too much on the physical aspect of training. I work with the balls so it helps the players,” he concluded.

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