Abia Warriors coach Imama Amapakabo has predicted an ‘exciting’ 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season following the arrival of European-trained coaches Finidi George and Eddy Dombraye in the league.
Ex-internationals George and Dombraye have taken over the reins at Enyimba and Lobi Stars respectively, ahead of the new NPFL season which gets underway on Friday, 17 December.
In addition to already established coaches like Abdu Maikaba, Gbenga Ogunbote, Kennedy Boboye and Fidelis Ilechukwu, who are still in the NPFL, the former Super Eagles assistant coach believes the wealth of experience of the new coaches is a ‘big plus’ to the domestic league.
“I think this is going to be an exciting season, all variables being equal, because, like I will always say, one aspect of football that we need to also look at is coaching” Amapakabao, who won the NPFL with Rangers in 2016, told www.busybuddiesng.com.
“And it looks as if Finidi (George) coming into the league, Eddy Dombraye too, I think it is a big plus, because whatever it is, I think they must have garnered something in Europe and they are coming into the league with it.
“In the mix too, we’ve had some coaches move. (Abdu) Maikaba has moved from Plateau United to Rangers, (Fidelis Ilechukwu) has moved from Heartland to Plateau United. They’ve all had something to prove in their previous teams and whatever.
“And I think it’s going to be an exciting season. I think spectators are going to be better off for what they (the new coaches) are able to bring into the league.”
Barring any last minute change, Amapakabo’s Warriors will face Finidi George’s Enyimba in the Abia Derby on Friday in Aba, to get the new campaign underway.
In Makurdi, Dombraye will lead his Lobi Stars side against Rivers United, while defending champions Akwa United will host 4-time winners Kano Pillars in Uyo, amongst other fixtures.
Full Match Day 1 Fixtures:
Gombe United vs Shooting Stars
Akwa United vs Kano Pillars
Lobi Stars vs Rivers United
Katsina United vs Rangers Int’l
Enyimba Int’l vs Abia Warriors
Sunshine Stars vs Wikki Tourists
Niger Tornadoes vs Plateau United
Kwara United vs Dakkada
MFM vs Remo Stars
Heartland vs Nasarawa United