Kpomo awards for Nigerian League

By Nduka Orjinmo

The 2011/2012 season of the Nigeria Premier League finally came to an end in an anti-climax on Friday, two months after the NPL promised us that it would.

After the historic 14 month episode of last season, few were going to buy the NPL’s seven month league promised at the beginning of the year.

However, the success story of how the league ran along the months of the year from January makes me wonder if the NPL have finally found the right structure and stretch.

It seems the Nigerian league does not like overlapping into the following year and so, loves all business done straightforward. I say it sounds better to say 2013 season than the 2013/2014.

Come to think of it, no other professional league in the world has such a fine ring, so it would be a first for us.

Away from that, the league had several fine moments all season long and am happy to present the first ever


Stanley Eguma-------Dolphins
Sunday Erelesusi---Rising Stars
Samson Unanuel-Ocean Boys

All three nominees are well deserved of the title for different reasons but it is the Dolphins manager who steals the show.

Defending champions of the league, they were caught in a last day battle to save their season.

The highpoint of coach Eguma’s campaign was when he signed five strikers during the mid-season break to swell the ranks of forwards in his side to nine.

At some point he toyed with a fluid 2-1-7 formation to give his strikers as much play time as possible.

During a home game at the Liberation stadium which he drew, he would go on to complain about the presence of Super sports as reason for his side’s inability to win.

Lodewijk De Kruif (Heartland): “I know it is against the rules of the game, but I would love a moment alone with that referee, and I bet you he won’t last ten minutes with me. I will so break his bones”.

Dominic Iorfa(Lobi stars): “ before we left our home we knew we were going to lose this match but we just came to fulfill all righteousness. You make it easier for yourself when you go away and lose, it just guarantees you all three points at home in the reverse fixture”.

Solomon Ogbeide (Akwa United):
First weekend against Sharks. Result Sharks 1 Akwa United 1: “I have never lost in Port Harcourt, it has always been a good place for me to come and get results. In all my coaching years, I have never lost a game in this city. Next weekend against Dolphins you will see, I will still record a good result.”
Second weekend against Dolphins. Result Dolphins 2 Akwa United 1: “it’s a game of football, you win some, you lose some. What else can I say”

WINNER : Ludewijk de Kruif

Goalkeeper: Sulaiman Shuaibu------ Jigawa Golden stars
Defenders: Kennedy Chinwo--------- Dolphins
Kamoru Jimoh------------ Niger Tornadoes
Midfielder: Yusuf Bature--------------- Kaduna United
Forwards: Boris Konan---------------- Dolphins
Adamu Muhammad------ Dolphins
Jude Aneke----------------- Warri Wolves
George Amakiri------------ Sharks FC
Roman Oriah--------------- Akwa United
Gbolahan Salami--------- Eyimba
Kehinde Abiodun---------- Rising Stars

INGENIOUS: referee in match between Sharks and Akwa United. Not more than 4”8, he had the intelligence to count 15 yards for walls during free-kicks. The law says ten. But you see, in this case 15 was actually ten.

CRY BABY: Coach Okey Emordi of Rangers Int’l. Never took defeat on the chin and had a habit of running round the pitch with hands spread like an Eagle, crying for all to hear how he had been robbed by the referees.

LONGEST MATCH: Dolphins 1 Kano Pillars 0 (Week 18)
Duration: 120minutes without extra time.

BEST GOAL: Gomo Nduku (Week 18)
Heartland vs Sharks
Venue: Calabar

According to the legend, Gomo picked the ball in his own half and waltzed through the entire Heartland team before rounding up goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to give his side maximum points. Hmmm. The entire Heartland team. I wonder if he also dribbled the coach and the General Manager.

STILL MISSING: 1. Twelve million naira that went missing from NPL treasure box.
2. Persons who attacked Ocean Boys in their dressing room at the Sharks

You can follow Nduka Orjinmo on twitter- @orjinmonduka
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