Greenhorns in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Bukola Babes, made a bold statement by grabbing four positions in the playing personnel of the Team of the Week (TofW) and the coaching role as well.
Bukola Babes’ head coach, Festus Allen, returned as coach of the week for the second consecutive week following his side’s 2 – 0 win on the road to struggling Crown Football Club in Ilaro on Sunday.
Two players from the Premier League newcomers, Seun Sogbesan and Effiom Otu-Bassey, were also named in the team for the second week running.
The Ilorin club also provided the right-back in Promise James while Abdulrahman Bashir claimed one of the three striking positions in a 4-3-3 formation for the team of the week.
Goalkeeper of Sharks, Okiemute Odah, was given the number one place ahead of his Enugu Rangers’ counterpart, Godwin Anyalogu, who also kept a clean sheet at the weekend.
Warri Wolves’ defender, ThankGod Ike, makes the team for the umpteenth time to pair Sogbesan in the heart of the defence while Mine Ojo of Enugu Rangers, a former teammate of Ike during their time at Heartland, fills left-back.
Playing in the midfield with Otu-Bassey will be Heartland star, Chinedu Efugh, who can play as centre-back and defensive midfielder. But the former Rangers’ man will play in the holding role.
Amanze Elekwachi of Warri Wolves is named in the left side of midfield for his darting runs, short passes and crosses that unlocked Plateau United at the weekend.
It will be a three-man attack with Fidelis Saviour of Kaduna United being flanked by Heartland’s Bello Kofarmata and Bashir of Bukola Babes.
Why they made the team
Goalkeeper: Okiemute Odah (Sharks)
Penultimate weekend Odah lost out in this position. But this time he beats Enugu Rangers’ Godwin Anyalogu following his display in the game against Gombe United at the weekend in Bauchi. He did not concede in that game.
Right-back: Promise James (Bukola Babes)
James held the lines well against Crown Football Club, as his side romped to a 2-0 win on the road. He provided width down the right flank for Bukola Babes.
Centre-back: Seun Sogbesan (Bukola Babes)
The centre-back for the second week finds himself in the team of the week for his sterling performance in the defence of Bukola Babes. He is the main reason Femi Allen’s side left Ilaro with all points. Sogbesan’s performance was not only top class but commanding.
Centre-back: ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves)
Wolves’ strong man in defence played with so much zest and little wonder Plateau United struggled to breach the back line of the Warri-based club. Ike also showed he can also score as well as defend.
Left-back: Mine Ojo (Enugu Rangers)
Ojo slots into left-back following a wonderful display of work rate to keep Niger Tornadoes in check. He is one of the players that made sure that the Flying Antelopes left Kaduna with their first point on the road and also keep a clean sheet for the first time in an away game.
Right midfielder: Effiom Otu-Bassey (Bukola Babes)
The Cross River-born winger slots into the right side of midfield after his roving and superb display against Crown FC. Otu-Bassey makes the team for the second week like his coach.
Central midfielder: Chinedu Efugh (Heartland)
The former Enugu Rangers’ man was the focal point in the middle for Heartland. He defended, cut off the opponents’ play and join the attack when the need arose in the game against Zamfara United. Efugh also known as Chicago scored from the spot to cap up his performance for the day.
Left midfielder: Amanze Elekwachi (Warri Wolves)
The former Jigawa Golden Stars’ winger was a handful for Plateau United. He combined so well with Ehiosun Ekigho and others to put Plateau to sword and scored one of Wolves’ three goals in their 3-1 win in Warri.
Striker: Bello Kofarmata (Heartland)
After just returning from trials abroad, the former Kano Pillars’ striker justified his starting in Emma Osigwe’s Heartland squad against Zamfara United. He scored one and got two assists.
Striker: Fidelis Saviour (Kaduna Utd)
Like his surname suggests, he has been Kaduna United’s Saviour in the past two games. He scored the winner against champions, Enyimba, on Sunday his side’s lone goal win.
Striker: Abdulrahman Bashir (Bukola Babes)
The petite striker troubled Crown FC’s defence with runs and combined well with Akeem Audu. Bashir crowned his massive work rate with one of his team’s two goals.
Coach: Festus Allen (Bukola Babes)
The Bukola Babes’ head coach for the second consecutive week picks the gong as coach of the week for his team’s superb performance against Crown FC on the road. Allen’s men followed up with their 3-0 win over Kwara United with a two-nil win against Crown – the only away win in Week 13.
Team of the Week
Okiemute Odah (Sharks)
Promise James (Bukola Babes)
Seun Sogbesan (Bukola Babes
ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves)
Mine Ojo (Enugu Rangers)
Effiom Otu-Bassey (Bukola Babes)
Chinedu Efugh (Heartland)
Amanze Elekwachi (Warri Wolves)
Bello Kofarmata (Heartland)
Fidelis Saviour (Kaduna United)
Abdulrahman Bashir (Bukola Babes)
Coach: Festus Allen (Bukola Babes)
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