By OJEIKERE AIKHOJE
The stage is set for the inaugural Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup as the quartet of Bendel Insurance, Enyimba, Shooting Stars and Rangers reignite their age long rivalry.
All four clubs are fresh from different pre-season tournaments.
It is a new tournament and sponsor, Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation, has promised this will become an annual event in domestic football calendar.
Unlike Enyimba and Rangers, Insurance and Shooting Stars ate fresh from the lower division. The duo has been sharing times in the top flight and second tier Nigeria National League.
Despite experiencing relegation, these two have amazing stories to share with fans spread across the globe.
The setting will be a mixture of eternal rivalries and derbies that will remind fans of the 1970s and 1980s.
Former Name: Vipers
Shirt Sponsor: Sterling Bank
Head Coach: Monday Odigie
Insurance comes into this fight as champions of the second division concluded
recently through a playoff.
With Monday Odigie still in charge, Insurance will be out to proves their readiness to remain in the top flight.
Unlike their last NPFL campaign, Insurance is armed with experienced players.
Ebenezer Odeyemi and Austin Ogunye scored at the NNL Playoffs to make an impact their experience will count.
Add former MFM wing back, Julius Emiloju and ever reliable Osas Okoro, a former Nigerian International, to the equation, then you understand why Rangers is ready to conquer opponents for the big prize.
It is not all about experience as youngsters like Imade Osarenkhoe, Emmanuel Matthew, Divine Nwachukwu,Adodo and Taiwo Oripelaye will be ready shine in the Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup.
Shooting Stars Sports Club
Former Name: Western Nigeria Development Company, Industrial Investment & Credit Corporation
Nickname: Oluyole Warriors
Shirt Sponsor: None
Head Coach: Gbenga Ogunbote
With the return of Gbenga Ogunbote Ibadan, expect a formidable squad capable of pulling a suprise.
Ogunbote is known for his ability to work with experienced players and youngsters.
The likes of Joshua Akpan, Samuel Ayanrinde, Anthony Akachi and Olaitan Olabode have wormed their way into the hearts of the ever reliable “Sooting Stars” fans.
Shooting Stars appeared at multiple pre season competitions as they prepared for the Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup.
A good start at the competition will be enough for the Ibadan fans to ensure their drums are ready for the new season.
Former Name: Nil
Nickname: Flying Antelopes
Shirt Sponsor: None
Head Coach: Abdul Maikaba
Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup star, Ejike Uzoenyi, will no doubt be the biggest star on parade at the Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup.
Uzoenyi’s experience will count for Rangers as Maikaba seeks to make the fans happy after a not too impressive first season, in Enugu.
On paper, Rangers look like the team to beat considering the quality of the squad.
Reuben Bala, Ibe Michael and Uche John will give support to Uzoenyi to boost Rangers’ quest for glory.
Add Detan Ogundare, in goal to imagine the depth of the side.
Rangers is not all about experience as Maikaba has youngsters in his squad.
Sani Shehu, Elijah Ani, Emmanuel Charles and Philip Clement are youngsters ready to defend the “Never Say Die” spirit of the famous Enugu side.
Nickname: Aba Elephants, Peoples’ Elephants
Shirt Sponsor: 10BET
Head Coach: Finidi George
If last season was a.chance to understand the NPFL, the Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup will be an opportunity for Finidi George to put fans of Enyimba in high spirit ahead of the new season.
As one who made the Super Eagles from the domestic league, Finidi, who is a member of the back room staff will attempt to claim his first title.
Finidi will turn to Chukwuemeka Obioma for goals and he is ready for the assignment.
Experience in between the sticks is assured with the duo of John Noble and Olorunleke Ojo.
The tournament serves as a chance to mould his side with new arrivals like Chibuike Nwaiwu, Nonso Nzediegwu, Murphy Ndukwu and Chijoke Mbaoma, all ambitious to add to the club’s trophy cabinet.
Match Day 1: Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Shooting Stars v Bendel Insurance 3pm
Rangers v Enyimba 5pm
About Ojeikere Aikhoje:
Aikhoje is a Nigerian football journalist cum PR expert, who works for Lagos based Sports PR and Sponsorship Activation agency: www.matchroom.com.
He writes about strategic sports communications/marketing and is a part-time lecturer in Sports Business.