NPFL: Eunisell Boot 2022 race heats up as Ishaq, Chijoke top chart
Top contenders are gearing up for the coveted Eunisell Boot award for the 2021/22 season, following the resumption of footballing actions in the Nigeria Professional Football league (NPFL) after the mid-season break.
The annual event, which was established in 2018 by Eunisell Limited, West Africa’s largest specialty chemical and oil and gas production solutions firm, seeks to raise the standard of professional football league in Nigeria through awareness and cash rewards for highest goal scorer.
The winner, at the end of every season, receives the prestigious trophy and cash prize of N200,000 per goal from Eunisell.
Following Match Day 21 games, the duo of Ishaq Kayode and Chijoke Akuneto, both of the Port Harcourt based Rivers United FC tops the highest goal scorers’ log with 11 and 9 goals respectively.
Ishaq’s 5th minute opener against Akwa United during the first leg of a back-to-back face-off, saw the prolific striker tightened his grip at the top, while Chijoke’s hat-trick shot him to the second position during the same game.
The table toppers are closely chased by Gombe United’s Yusuff Abdulazeez and Andy Ope of Remo FC with 8 goals each.
Kwara United’s Alao Dambani and Valentine Odoh of Abia Warriors have also netted 7 goals each to their credits while the trio of Godwin Obaje (Abia Warriors), Leonard Ugochukwu (Sunshine Stars) and Victor Mboma of Enyimba boasts of 6 goals each.
Meanwhile, six players who have scored 5 goals each include Ossy Martins, Chidiebere Nwobodo (Enugu Rangers), Jesse Akila, Muhammad Zulkifilu (Plateau United), Tochukwu Amaechi (Nasarawa) and Ogba Ifeanyi (Lobi Stars).
Reacting to the development, Ishaq said it felt great to be topping the scorers’ chart and winning the Eunisell Boot, which he described as every player’s dream, will boost his profile.
“I feel so good because it will really boost my profile. The award has helped a lot of players that won it before, and it’s a big award that every player dreams of winning. This is my 6th season in NPFL, ” he noted.
The striker also pledged to work harder and clinch the trophy. He stated that the award has significantly helped the NPFL league by motivating players to work hard, adding that hard work remains the key to winning it.
“Eunisell helped our league a lot, because the company motivates a lot of players in terms of winning the Eunisell award. We all know what it means for us to win it. It is not by mouth but it’s by work hard, I know I can win with hard work,” Ishaq remarked.
Eunisell Managing Director, Chika Ikenga, said the company was thrilled with the healthy competition inspired by Eunisell Boot award among Nigerian league players.
He added that the competition brings out character, grit and resilience in players, and raises quality of games and overall league performance to the pleasure of fans and stakeholders.
“We are thrilled to see players in the local league double up their games in a bid to win the Eunisell Boot award. The eagerness, determination and healthy rivalry among players to win the award bring out grit and resilience and raises the quality of play, goals and overall performance. Fans, players, supporters and all stakeholders will be happier for it.
“Eunisell Boot remains a catalyst to instill greatness in players in the domestic top flight and celebrate their success story. The initiative is a confirmation of Eunisell’s commitment to the development of Nigerian football. The prestigious trophy and value will spur players into performing better. We believe in and are indeed proud to be associated with our home-grown stars,” Ikenga noted.
Kano Pillars Striker, Junior Lokosa, won the maiden edition with 19 goals and got N3.8 million cash reward for 2017/2018 NPFL season while the duo of Nasarawa United’s Silas Nwankwo and Akwa United’s Charles Atshimene were announced as joint winners with a cash prize of N7.6M for also scoring 19 goals for the 2020/21 season.