Nominated Nigerian league champions Lobi Stars of Makurdi on Sunday began their journey to Cameroon ahead of Tuesday’s CAF Champions League first leg preliminary round encounter against Cameroonian side UMS de Loum.
Lobi who defeated Rangers 1-0 to win the Nigerian Super Cup last Tuesday in Asaba are making a return to continental action for the first time since 2013 when they played in the CAF Confederation Cup. The team have been camping in Ijebu-Ode near Lagos since last Wednesday and departed to Lagos en route to Yaounde on Sunday.
The team are scheduled to leave in two batches. A group consisting players and coaches flew out from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Sunday afternoon while the second group containing the administrative staff and five players will leave from Abuja on Monday.
Lobi Stars have on the plane to Yaounde, some of the new players they have acquired for their upcoming campaign including forward Sikiru Alimi, midfielder Kelly Kester and defender Chile Azu.
Head coach Solomon Ogbeide assured www.aclsports.com on his team’s readiness for the Champions League campaign, insisting it is not just about bringing in new players but making sure his side work as a team.
“One thing I know about coaching is that no matter how good the players are, you still need to have a team. No matter the quality of players you have, you must be able to make them play as a unit. And that is exactly what we are trying to do.
“We’ve brought some players but we are trying to make them blend with the old players. If you bring in good players and they are playing individually, we won’t get the results we desire.
“The win against Rangers has helped prepare us some more and I believe the boys will be ready to do the job in Cameroon,” said Ogbeide.
Tuesday’s match is billed for the Stadium in Limbe with the return leg scheduled for the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi one week later