In a league where travelling by roads is a norm, Edo Queens under the watch of the state government is rewriting the narrative and are setting a pace that would not only be trailed but arduous for other teams to match up with-owing to the fact that the office of the Deputy Governor is directly overseeing the affairs and his love and commitment to sports development is second to none.
The 2021/2022 NWFL Premiership season returns in days and just like an anticipating groom expecting his beautifully adorned and well-dressed bride, many female football lovers can’t wait to see a brand new season that promises to be filled with massive competition between fourteen teams across the country.
The CAF women champions league is now a reality and every team would want to take a shot at picking up the sole ticket in representing the country in the next edition of the CAF women champions league-haven seen Rivers Angels done so at the maiden edition, in Egypt. Much is at stake as teams jostle for a top-three finish in their various groups. It would be electrifying all season for teams as well – not only super six tickets are available, but also continental tickets- so we anticipate a very scintillating season.
Amongst teams that will not only be competing but vying for a place amongst the top three in a group that houses Adamawa Queens, Naija Ratels Ladies, Osun Babes, Pelican Stars, Confluence Queens, Nasarawa Amazons is the Obaseki girls.
Edo Queens after a horrendous 6th place finish at the shocking Super 6, an opposite of what their season was; seven wins, two draws, four defeats with 17 goals scored and eleven conceded as they garnered 23 points-7 behind table toppers, Bayelsa Queens as at the time of abruptly stopping the league. Not a bad result for the then Rowlandson Odeh side behind Delta Queens, Rivers Angels, and Bayelsa. The team could not register a single draw, losing all matches as they conceded 15 goals with only two credited to their names.
That wasn’t the result wanted by the financier of the team, the Edo State government under the office of the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu and as such, an enormous overhaul of the coaching crew which saw the signing of Super Falcons assistant coach and former player of the team, Wemimo Olanrewaju Matthew and signing of new players from clubs around.
The new season is upon us and Edo Queens are not leaving any stone unturned in their crusade to win the 2021/2022 NWFL Premiership. Amongst the 14 clubs in this season’s race, Edo Queens are the only team to have come out in clear term to establish their target for the season-winning.
Aside from cobbling together a series of friendly matches outside the Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament and Flying Officers Cup appearances, Edo Queen’s management as led by the General Coordinator of Sports in the office of the state Deputy Governor, Mrs Sabina Amiemenoghena Chikere, has put in place motivational means to spur these girls to victory this season.
One of very few teams that pay players salaries as at when due-Edo Queens players get paid before the month runs out, they have a very comfortable hostel where players and coaches are kept with facilities to help their career, installed at the hostel.
Edo Queens are on the same salary scale as their male team (Bendel Insurance) the only club that does that in the country- little wonder why the state is at the heart of championing the “No To Gender-Based Violence and Gender Equality”-of course, humans are equal, no one is bigger or inferior to the other- kudos must be given to the management, for this giant stride that has left many asking if this could be real or not.
Every footballer in the western world have jerseys they give out to friends, families and fans (not a replica but authentic jerseys), but in Africa, it’s rare to see this happen in any club, particularly in Nigerian football, where some teams even go to the field of play with mixed jerseys. The management of Edo Queens from the office of the deputy governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, under the overall supervision of Mrs Sabina Amiemenoghena Chikere, no doubt have taken this jersey of a thing to another level. For the records, each player who makes the matchday squad is entitled to one jersey after every match i.e the players will have another brand new jersey for the next game and have the current match kept, dashed out as it pleases her. Thus, a player who plays all twelve matches at the regular season will be entitled to twelve jerseys; this is highly commendable and a step every other club should emulate.
Edo Queens are prepared for this season and they have everything in place for them which is enough for any team to go to the field and get the job done.
With players like Akudo Ogbonna, Goodness Onyebuchi, Chiamaka Oliseh, Adaobi Ukah, Nkiruka Obidinma, Udoka Unachukwu, Efe Osakpolor, Kafayat Mafibere, Elizabeth Zirike, Edewor Precious, Lucky Ugbehune, Emem Essien and wonder kid, Sebastian Chioma; Edo Queens are good to go and can take on any team-Rivers Angel, Bayelsa Queens, FC Robo Queens and others.
Taking a look at the teams in their group, Nasarawa Amazons seems to be the only club that might give the Obaseki girls a tough time, both home and away, but other teams (Adamawa Queens, Naija Ratels Ladies, Osun Babes, Pelican Stars, Confluence Queens,)-no disrespect,-Edo Queens should have at least 30 points at the end of the first stanza; that should at least guarantee them a place at the Super 6 that’s yet to have a venue.
Confluence Queens finished 3 places (4th) below Edo Queens last season, Osun Babes, Nasarawa Amazons, Pelican Stars all finished 8th, 9th and 11th respectively, behind Edo Queens last season.
All these girls need now is to market themselves first. Doing this will bring out the best in them and the club will benefit from it because putting the club first might warrant them to want to play anyhow and get result-this will boomerang at some point in the season. But being themselves will make them know this is about their career and they have to put in their best to get things done.
With the rejigging of the technical crew, signing of new players, remaining focused and determined to market themselves, the mechanisms the club management have put in place will be a super compliment to get their objectives achieved.
The season is here, let’s see how it pans out.