Glamour, followership back in NPFL with return of 3SC, say Ogunbote, Udi
Former Shooting Stars Football Club (3SC) Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, as well as the club’s former utility player, Duke Udi, have expressed joy over the promotion of the Ibadan based team to the Nigeria Professional League (NPFL), at the just ended Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Eight playoff in Enugu.
3SC lost 2-3 in the final of the playoff to Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna on Sunday.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Ogunbote said 3SC is a traditional club that belongs to the country’s premier league, adding that the top-flight league has really missed the glamour and excitement the Ibadan team would have brought to the NPFL.
“It is a good thing that the club is now back to top-flight football in the country. 3SC truly belongs to the Premiership in terms of followership it enjoys around the world. It is one of the traditional teams we have in the country and I just hope and pray that everybody will be happy about it too.
“The promotion of 3SC definitely will bring a lot of glamour into the system. It is a team that has diehard supporters, coupled with the fact that the governor has just refurbished the Lekan Salami Stadium where they will play their home games.
“I can’t wait to see the club’s supporters come out to watch the team play its first league match in the top-flight league for next season. You will definitely see the stadium filled to capacity because it has always been like that on league match days,” he said.
Udi, who played in CAF Champions League final for the club against Zamelek in 1996, stated that every fan of the club is rejoicing over the arrival of the Ibadan team to the premier league.
“Everybody has been celebrating the return of our darling team, 3SC back to the premier league. 3SC is a big club in the country and it is a team that can be compared with Al-Ahly and Zamelek of Egypt among some of the big clubs in Africa. That is the reason why they need to be in the country’s top-flight league.
“We are very grateful to God for this promotion and we are happy that they are back to where they should be as far as our league is concerned. I think football is back to Ibadan and we are looking forward to an exciting season because NPFL has really missed 3SC as much as we will miss Enugu Rangers if they were not in the NPFL.
“I had hoped Bendel Insurance would also gain promotion to the NPFL. Quite unfortunate, the club didn’t make it. Insurance is a household name that people would have loved to be in the premier league because of followership in the country and around the world compared to most clubs in the NPFL.
“Insurance is a huge club like 3SC, which also have supporters in UK, USA and around the world. The kind of followership 3SC have is what we have been missing in our domestic league,” he stated.
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