After several postponements of the rebranded Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, followers of the game can now go to the various match venues across the country to cheer and jeer the twenty teams depending on where their hearts lie. The League is already five-week-old with week six fixtures to be on the card this weekend.
The twenty teams plying their trades in the current campaign include Plateau United, Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists, MFM FC, Eyimba FC, Ifeanyi Ubah FC, Warri Wolves FC, Abia Warriors, Akwa Starlet FC, and Sunshine Stars. Others are Rivers United, Kastina United, Enugu Rangers, Adamawa United, Delta Force, Akwa United, Jigawa Golden Stars, Heartland FC, Kano Pillars, and Nasarawa United.
With five matches already on the card, Plateau United top the league with fourteen points. The Lalong Boys tutored by Coach Abdul Maikaba were unbeaten in the previous four matches before they were shocked by Heartland FC in the last match in a slim 1-0 victory.
Football pundits, as well as followers in Jos and its environs, thought Plateau United would go unbeaten deep into the league. No sooner had they give up their hope than Plateau United were forced to a 0-0 draw at home by struggling Kano Pillars in the week four fixtures played at the New Jos Stadium. The draw against Pillars had raised doubts in many supporters about the success of the Jos-based club before they eventually lost to Heartland FC in the week five fixtures.
Although the 2017 champions have not done badly so far, there is a need for Coach Abdul Miakaba to reinforce the attacking line if the hope of winning the league is anything to go by. Too many chances are being wasted upfront; consequently, the midfielders and the defenders are not given the results of their hard work.
As Plateau United face Ifeanyi Ubah at home this weekend, the players should bear in mind that the fans will take nothing other than a victory against the Nnewi Millionaires. Anything short of victory would amount to the club losing grip of the top of the log.
The Media Officer of Plateau United, Mr. Albert Dakub, has assured the club of Governor Simon Bako Lalong’s full support in making sure that the trophy returns to Jos at the end of the league in 2020, which will also guarantee the club a place in the CAF Champions league.
Therefore, the burden now lies on Coach Maikaba to gain full control of the dressing room in order to bring forth the desired results in subsequent matches.
Born on Match 3, 1965, Abdul Maikaba was appointed the United coach on October 20, 2018. He is in his second season at the club following a move from Akwa United in 2018. Maikaba won the 2017 Aiteo Cup with Akwa United before his new appointment.