Bukola Babes’ Allen leads NPL Team of Week

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For the first time this season, one of the coaches from the newcomers to the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has been picked as coach of the week.
Bukola Babes’ head coach, Festus Allen, gets the nod from the Premier League’s panel to lead the Team of the Week in a 4-4-2 formation following his side’s thrashing of Kadiri Ikhana’s Kwara United.
With Allen in the Team of the Week are two of his players – Seun Sogbesan and Effiom Otu-Bassey – who slot into centre-back and left midfield respectively.
Warri Wolves share same number of entrants into this week’s team with goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, centre-back ThankGod Ike and midfielder Emmanuel Omodiagbe making the cut.
Victor Ezema of Kaduna United is picked for right-back while dead-ball specialist Daniel Mende of Sunshine Stars is named at left-back.
The duo of Josiah Maduabuchi of Enyimba and Gabriel Reuben of Kano Pillars complete a four-man midfield.
The two men that accounted for the goals in the game between Kano Pillars and Sharks last Saturday, Victor Ezeji (Sharks) and Victor Namo (Kano Pillars), will lead the attacking line for this week’s team.

Why they made the team
Goalkeeper: Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves)
The Nigeria B Team goalie was the man that stood between Enyimba and three points in Aba. Valentine Nwabili, Junior Osagie and John Agbawu all tested him. Agbim made two top drawer saves including one from Nnaemeka Anyanwu on 28 minutes that will stand out as one of the saves of the season. He was definitely the reason for Wolves taking a point in Aba, as he beat Olabisi Adewunmi of Zamfara United and Okiemute Odah of Sharks to this position.

Right-back: Victor Ezema (Kaduna Utd)
It was a very composed performance from Ezema against Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC). Maurice Cooreman detailed him to man-mark Gbolahan Salami and he did it so well but for goalkeeper Richard Ochanyi’s error that gift the Shooting Stars’ man a goal. But Ezema kept Salami quiet in the game.

Centre-back: Seun Sogbesan (Bukola Babes)
He was massive in the defence line of Bukola Babes and made sure that the attackers of Kwara United were kept quiet for 90 minutes. Sogbesan also covered every blade of the grass in the defence line, as Bukola Babes romped to a 3 – 0 shock win over Kadiri Ikhana’s men.

Centre-back: ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves)
Ike was a rock in the centre of Warri Wolves defence and no wonder coach Paul Aigbogun loves handing him a starting place every time. The Nigeria B Team defender held off Enyimba on a number of occasions with his aerial presence and calculative tacklings to make sure Wolves left Aba with a result.

Left-back: Daniel Mende (Sunshine Stars)
Mende made the left side of the field of his team his own. He was visibly all through the game and capped a fine performance with a stunning free-kick that ensured that Sunshine Stars continue to chase Dolphins at the summit of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).

Right midfielder: Josiah Maduabuchi (Enyimba)
This talented Enyimba playmaker held the ball in the middle so well and caused his opponents problems with his dribbling runs. On almost every occasion, he was the creative spark in the Peoples Elephant’s setup against Warri Wolves.

Central midfielder: Gabriel Reuben (Kano Pillars)
Though he is a defensive midfielder, Reuben has the knack of venturing forward and back within the twinkle of an eye. He is a box-to-box player and he exhibited that character against Sharks on Saturday for Kano Pillars.

Central midfielder: Emmanuel Omodiagbe (Warri Wolves)
The former Heartland midfielder played the holding role in front of his side’s centre-backs very well. He foiled several attempts from the rampaging Enyimba attackers.

Left midfielder: Effiom Otu-Bassey (Bukola Babes)
The left-footed has been impressive this season and he continued that performance by running Kwara United’s defence ragged. He also got one of the three goals scored by his team that nailed Kwara United.

Striker: Victor Ezeji (Sharks)
The veteran striker was a handful for Kano Pillars’ defence in Saturday’s 1 – 1 draw. He got the goal for the Blue Angels and troubled Pillars back line during the match.

Striker: Victor Namo (Kano Pillars)
He came on as a substitute and immediately his presence was felt, as he stretched Sharks defence by drawing them to the wings and creating acres of space for his teammates in the middle. In spite of the fact that he lost his father, Namo got a late equaliser for Pillars to save his side the embarrassment of losing at home.

Coach: Festus Allen (Bukola Babes)
It is not often that coaches regarded as upcoming are seen as flooring their experienced counterparts. But Allen did so in style against his Kwara United counterpart, Kadiri Ikhana, a former African Coach of the Year and winner of the NPL.

Team of the Week
Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves)
Victor Ezema (Kaduna Utd)
Seun Sogbesan (Bukola Babes)
ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves)
Daniel Mende (Sunshine Stars)
Josiah Maduabuchi (Enyimba)
Gabriel Reuben (Kano Pillars)
Emmanuel Omodiagbe (Warri Wolves)
Effiom Otu-Bassey (Bukola Babes)
Victor Ezeji (Sharks)
Victor Namo (Kano Pillars)
Coach: Festus Allen (Bukola Babes)
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