Fresh off netting his team’s effort in the one all draw away to Kwara United, Sunshine Stars striker Franklin Sasere says he has set himself a target of fifteen goals which he hopes will help him receive “something tangible from the Lord” this season.
Sasere got off to a flyer scoring in added time of the first half to give his team the lead in their 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season opener in Ilorin. Seun Olulayo’s own goal however denied the Akure based side victory and ensured Kwara United left with a share of the spoils.
The striker, who said he was pleased with the resumption of the NPFL, praised the performance of his team although he rued their inability to hold on the lead, he added that their performance was a testament to the seriousness of their determination to get a continental ticket at the end of the season.
“I am happy the league has started because the last time we played was over six months ago away at Rivers United before the World Cup,” Sasere told busybuddiesng.com.
“We were extremely ready for the match and we had trained very well and from our performance, you could see that we could have won. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the victory but we really want to achieve our goal by getting a continental ticket this year and I think by God’s grace we are going to have it.”
Sunshine Stars had enjoyed a torrid season last time out languishing in the bottom three of the log for the most part of the truncated 2017/2018 season and were amongst the favorites for the drop prior to the league being abruptly ended at week 24. Their horrible showing led to the disbandment of the team by the Ondo State government who embarked on a wholesale clearance of playing and backroom the club.
Sasere describes the wholesale changes as a feature of Nigerian league football but maintains that with newly appointed Head Coach Kabiru Dogo at the helm, the team are set to perform markedly better than last season.
“I think we will perform better than last season,” he says, “and when you talk about the changes in Nigeria generally there are always changes each and every season, it’s always like that.
“But with Coach Kabiru Dogo and the preseason we have had, we have prepared we trained each and every day because every one of us has a target and the Coach is pushing us too to achieve his target of continental football.”
The former FC Ifeanyi Ubah goal getter couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season following his goal on match-day one and he says he hopes to improve on last season’s tally by hitting double figures for this season while also hoping that this would be the year that God hears his heartfelt prayer – a move abroad.
“This is an abridged league, last year I set some targets which I really didn’t get to because the league ended without playing all the matches. This season there is a difference from last season I think it’s not more than 22 matches so I have a target if I should play all the matches to bag fifteen goals this season.
“Last year I prayed for something tangible from the Lord which is a European contract and due to some laxity it wasn’t achieved, I think this year it’s going to be achieved by the special grace of God.”