Ahead of Sunday’s ‘Oyibo Derby’ in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Akwa United head coach Rafael Everton has told www.aclsports.com that having foreign coaches in the league adds value to it as it introduces the players to other ideas.
The only two foreign coaches in the league go toe to toe on Sunday when the NPFL resumes after the mid-season and election breaks. Everton’s Akwa United are guests to Heartland FC who are coached by Turkish coach Mehmet Tayfun.
Everton stressed the importance of foreign coaches in the league to www.aclsports.com when his team arrived Okigwe on Saturday.
“Nigeria have very good coaches and they have good players,” acknowledged Everton.
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“We have just two foreigners for now but I will be glad if more foreign coaches come because sometimes, the foreigners will bring new ideas and mix it with Nigerian ideas which is good for the league.
“My time in Nigeria has taught me some things too and it’s better for us and the league. I’m sure we will have more foreigners soon.”
Our Technical Adviser Mehmet Tayfun also was nominated for the Coach of the month award for the month of January. Congratulations sire! pic.twitter.com/ig6o7sy1hE
— Heartland FC (@HeartlandFC_ng) February 7, 2019
Heartland are two points behind Akwa United on the Group B log in this season’s abridged league. The Naze Millionaires, under the guidance of Tayfun will be looking to usurp Everton’s men with a win. The Brazilian coach spoke on his acquaintance with Tayfun and how it can impact Sunday’s game.
“Tomorrow’s match is going to be a tactical one. You know they have a European coach who has a lot of ideas about the game.
“I respect him and I see the good results he has had with Heartland. We talk a lot and there is also a Brazilian player there in Heartland that I recommended for him.
“I believe it is going to be a good game for the people coming to see the game because it is going to be a tactical game. We had like ten days preparation for this game and I believe tomorrow we will play well,” added the 2016 Nigerian Federation Cup winning coach.
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) March 16, 2019
While Akwa United are having their best run of form this season having stayed unbeaten in the past six games, Heartland’s early season form seems to have eroded as they have only collected two out of their last nine possible points. Everton expects the form to give them a tactical boost.
“It is very important for us that we are now having positive results. We are not under pressure, the players are relaxed on the pitch and playing good football for me. I always tell them that it is important for us to play well because if we play well, the chance to score goals will come.
“Heartland are coming on the back of three games without a win so I believe they will be under pressure to win. It is good for us because their willingness to come out and score goals will open space for us,” summed Everton.
Heartland vs Akwa United billed for the Okigwe Stadium is one of ten NPFL games scheduled for Sunday across different centres in Nigeria’s top division.
Katsina United vs Kwara United
MFM FC vs Bendel Insurance
Sunshine Stars vs Enyimba
Wikki Tourists vs Rivers United
Remo Stars vs Rangers (Postponed)
Niger Tornadoes vs Lobi Stars (Postponed)
Kada City vs Nasarawa United
Abia Warriors vs Plateau United
Yobe Desert Stars vs Go Round
FC Ifeanyiubah vs Kano Pilars
El-Kanemi Warriors vs Gombe United