Bayelsa United coach Diepreye Teibowei believes the Yenagoa-based side can compete against Africa’s top teams and be worthy campaigners for Nigeria in the 2021/22 CAF Confederation Cup, provided he is able to make a few additions to the current squad.
Teibowei’s side, who compete in the second-tier Nigeria National League (NNL), knocked out former champions and top-flight sides Lobi Stars, Rangers International and Rivers United on their way to claiming a first-ever Aiteo Cup crown at the expense of yet another NPFL side Nasarawa United earlier this month.
The Aiteo Cup victory guaranteed the former NPFL champions a place in the CAF Confederation Cup next season, where they have drawn to face Guinean side AS Ashanti Golden Boys in the preliminary round next month.
Asked if Bayelsa United have what it takes to compete in CAF’s second-tier inter-club competition, the UEFA Licensed coach retorted: “Why not? If I can beat Lobi Stars, Enugu Rangers, although Nasarawa United is through a penalty shoot-out. I must give them respect, they played very well in the first half, we took the game in the second half and it ended 2-2, but we won on penalties, which is anybody’s game. That’s the reality of life.
“But if we can win Lobi Stars outright 2-0, Enugu Rangers (1-0), Enugu Rangers match would have even ended in 4-0 if my players did not miss goals. It would have been an embarrassment to Enugu Rangers of great memory.
“Although I said we’ll also beef up the team, I saw some players from NAF FC, from Gateway United that we’ll bring in to beef up the team.
“With those few adjustments, we can play anybody in this world. That’s my confidence.”
Bayelsa United, who reached the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2009, will open their campaign in the competition this term against Ashanti Golden Boys in the weekend of 10-12 September in Guinea, with the second leg in Nigeria a week later.