Gbenga Ogunbote says Sunshine Stars will need to buy big if they are to match or surpass his achievement during his first spell as head coach of the Akure-based club.
The former Enyimba and Rangers coach was on Tuesday unveiled to lead the Owena Whales for a second spell, after guiding them to the semi-finals of the 2011 CAF Confederation Cup and 2012 CAF Champions League during his first stint at the helm.
To reach such height this time around, The Oracle, as Ogunbote is fondly called, reckons that Sunshine Stars will need to beef up the squad following the mass exodus of some key players like goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke (Abia Warriors), midfielders Anthony Omaka (Enyimba), Jide Fatokun (Kwara United), forward Wasiu Jimoh (Plateau United) and defender Jamiu Alimi.
“That has been my target – everywhere I’ve been to, I always want to excel,” the erstwhile Lobi Stars coach said.
“And if you look at the situation surrounding the team for now, the truth of the matter is, until the recruitment is carried out, one cannot actually say anything. But I’m optimistic that at the end of the season, it will equally end in praise (for Sunshine Stars).
“We just need to be realistic with ourselves that the team has actually lost some of our quality players and as such, we needed to beef up the team. We’ll do that, we’ll look in that direction, believing that management will support the course.
“So, once that one is done, then, we will be able to get it right.”
Last season, The Oracle guided Lobi Stars to a 4th place finish on the Points Per Game (PPG) table, narrowly missing out of continental football, while Sunshine Stars finished 10th on the PPG log.
In 2018, he handed Rangers their first AITEO Cup title in 35 years, after they came from 3-0 down to beat Kano Pillars 4-2 via penalties in the final at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba.