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Girls take over Agege Stadium as NWPL Super Four Championship begins

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Agege Stadium, Lagos, Photo: Nigerian Infrastructure<br />

Girls, girls, girls… pretty women all of them, will assemble at the ‘Soccer Temple’ in Agege to decide which team among Nigeria’s biggest four clubs will go home with the most coveted trophy in the country’s women football.

It is the Nigerian Women Football League Super Four Championship, which this year will feature defending champions, Nasarawa Amazons, Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens and Sunshine Stars of Akure.

Nasarawa Amazons defeated Rivers Angels in the final of the 2017 edition of the competition in Benin City, Edo State.

That victory sparked off a rivalry that has seen Rivers Angel having their pound of flesh in last year’s Aiteo Cup, but the Port Harcourt girls are not satisfied yet, as they see the Super Four trophy as the ultimate prize they must have.

According to the organisers, unlike the last edition, which on a round robin format, this edition is a straight knockout that takes the winners automatically to the final to be decided on January 27 at same Agege Stadium.

Looking ahead to a successful defence of the crown, Nasarawa Amazons’ Head Coach, Chris Danjuma said he has his peoples’ mandate to take the cup back to Lafia.

“The 2018 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) Super Four title will return to Lafia at the end of the proceedings.

“Nasarawa Amazons are the defending champions of the Nigerian women topflight and we are coming to Lagos to show our stuff aimed at retaining the title.

“People are already expressing deep worries over our ability to defend the title due to the absence of our two key players, Anam Imo and Amarachi Okoronkwo.

“Yes, the two players were key members of the team and quite useful to the team’s past achievements. We will certainly feel their absence, but nobody is indispensable. I am confident their absence will not hinder us from retaining the league crown.”

However, Bayelsa Queens Manager, Moses Aduku, a former junior international, will not take any of the Nasarawa Amazons and Rivers Angels talk. He believes this year is his team’s best opportunity to crown their efforts with a title.

“I once guided Bayelsa Queens to a Super Six competition without a trophy to show for it, but this time around I will win the 2018 NWPL Super Four trophy in Lagos.

“My earnest desire is to compensate for the side’s long wait for a trophy as well as say thank you to the government and good people of Bayelsa state for their patience and undying support for the side.

“We cannot continue to play second fiddle to any side. The opponents are good sides and champions, too in their own right but I believe strongly that the NWPL Super Four title is right there in Lagos waiting for us to win or lose.”

A veteran of the women league and head coach of Sunshine Queens, Matthew Wemimo, who is the only woman coach among the 2018 NWPL Super Four bosses, also believes her side will end as champions on Sunday.

“Of course, we cannot come to Lagos to make the numbers; rather we are coming to the 2018 NWPL Super Four competition to contest for the top prize.”

“In fact, our aim is to lift the league crown at the expense of the favourites, Rivers Angels, Nasarawa Amazons and Bayelsa Queens for once to make a bold statement.”

Rivers Angels Coach, Edwin Okon is Nigeria’s most decorated trainer in women football. His team lost the final to Nasarawa Amazons last term, but a dent he wants to correct.

“For us at Rivers Angels any competition is a golden opportunity to grab the top prize and the 2018 NWPL Super Four will not be an exception.

“The opponents are known and tested but our experience and quest to be champions always will see us through the hurdle,” he said.

Bayelsa Queens will square up against newcomers, Sunshine Queens in today’s opening match, while Nasarawa Amazons will confront Rivers Angels in the second match of the day.

Winners of the matches will advance to Sunday’s final, while the losers will feature in the third place match, which will precede the final at the Agege Stadium.


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