Nigeria Women Professional League preview

By Queen John

The wait is over for lovers of Women Football in Nigeria as the 2014/15 Nigerian Women Premier League season begins this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures.

Sixteen (16) participating teams would slug it out this season as against 11 teams last season in what will be an abridged format.

Adamawa Queens return

Adamawa Queens who were granted a waiver last campaign, following insurgency claims cited by other clubs as reason for not honouring their games in the Adamawa state capital, will battle it out with Bayelsa Queens, Confluence Queens, Delta Queens, Pro League winners Fc Robo, Ibom Angels , newly promoted Martins Whyte Dove and Osun Babes  in Group A.

In Group B, it will be champions Rivers Angels, Pelican Stars, Edo Queens, Taraba Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, last season Federation Cup finalist Sunshine Queens, and two undecided teams that would have to wait for the approval from the NFF Executive Committee.

Rivers Angels won the league last season with a 100% home record, picking a total of 30 points from their respective home matches and recorded 2 away wins.

With the departure of key players in the team like Asisat Oshoala, Evelyn Nwabuokwu, Uchechi Sunday, and Ebere Orji it is yet to be seen if the Port Harcourt side can successfully defend their title this season.

Top scorer for last season, Amarachi Orjinma whose 17goals helped Pelican Stars finish second place in the league, is one player to watch but she has shifted her services to the League Champions, Rivers Angels. All attention will be on her if she can replicate her goal scoring form with the Port Harcourt club.

Opening Day Fixtures

On Saturday, Delta Queens will be at home against Confluence Queens in Oleh. The confident Kogi side will hope to avoid a repeat of a 4-0 defeat handed out to them last season in Oleh.

Osun Babes will also play host to Ibom Angels in a repeat of last season league opener which ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts.

Bayelsa Queens will hope to better last season’s poor performance when they travel to face Pro League winners, FC Robo in Lagos. Another debutant, Martins White Doves of Benin will be on the road to face Adamawa Queens in Yola.

In Group B, only two matches will be played this weekend as champions Rivers Angles and Federation Cup finalist Sunshine Queens of Akure will have to wait for the approval of NFF Executive Committee to know their opponents.

In the meantime, Edo Queens will be at home against Nasarawa Amazons, while FC Taraba will play host to Pelican stars in Jalingo. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a stalemate.

The wait is over and despite the lack of sponsorship and seeming relegation to the background in Nigerian Football, the women are back to display their footballing talents, express their passion into actions and prove once again that we are never short of the talents to replace those exiting the league.
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