Bayero University of Kano (BUK) Stallions head coach, Ibrahim Salisu Ibrahim, has made clear the intention of his side to seek revenge for last year’s Round 16 defeat to HiFL champions, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) Desert Warriors, when both sides clash in the Round 16 of this year’s edition.
Organized by Pace Sports and supported by StanbicIBTC, Bold Drink, Lagos Internal Revenue Services and Indomie Noodles, the HIFL is in its fourth active season and continues to attract more followers.
UNIMAID Desert Warriors claimed a 5-3 aggregate win over BUK Stallions at this stage on their way to winning the trophy last year.
Speaking ahead of the first leg slated for Wednesday, July 27, at the University of Maiduguri Sports Complex.
Salisu declared that it is the turn of his team to savour the taste of glory by winning the 2022 HiFL Season after four years of participation.
Although his side will start this adventure on the road, the gaffer remains confident:
“We are not worried that UNIMAID Desert Warriors are the defending champions. We are looking forward to changing the mentality, we are not afraid,” Salisu stated.
In addition he said: “Any team that beats BUK goes on to win the league for that season. Now, we want to beat whoever comes our way and go ahead to win. We feel that once we beat the Desert Warriors, we would be okay.”
However, UNIMAID head coach, Paul Ciroma revealed that his side is unperturbed about the games with a familiar underdog, like BUK.
“BUK are no strangers to us. We played them twice last season during the group stage and the knockout stages and won. We are looking forward to doing the same thing this time around,” Ciroma asserted.
Speaking on the readiness of his players for the contest, he said “UNIMAID Desert Warriors are the defending Champions. We are preparing and would be ready for BUK Stallions.”
After a shaky start during the group stage this season, BUK Stallions eventually firmed up their game and qualified for the last 16 from a group that had Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano, KASU Crocs from Kaduna State University and ATBU Bravehearts from the Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.
In other first leg fixtures for this week, 2021 finalist, AAUA Luminaries will tackle LASU Blazers in Akungba, FUTMinna Transformers will host the KSU Steelers from Kogi State University while UNN Lions will host UNIPORT Sharks in Enugu.
First leg matches in Round 16 will be completed on Wednesday, August 3.