Gold Cup is good pre-season preparations, says Tornadoes

Coach Bala of Niger Tornadoes
Abubakar
Bala, Technical Adviser of Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL side,
Niger Tornadoes has disclosed that ongoing Gold Cup Preseason Tournament has
helped his side to prepare well for the new season.
In
an exclusive interview with Gold Cup Media Channel, the young tactician noted
that his side are better ready than last season despite mass exodus of players
from the Minna based side just as he called on LMC to raise the standard of the
league in the new season.
You started the
Gold Cup Tournament on a disappointing note, how do you see your chances of
winning it?
We
stand a good chance of winning it because we have seen all the teams in our
group played, we have seen their strength though we have a bad start but
looking at what we’ve seen in the other team, we have 70 per cent chance of
qualifying.
How will you rate
your team’s readiness for the new season looking at their performance in
training especially in this competition?
Well
if you look at Niger Tornadoes you will see that it’s almost new team entirely,
we have about 85 per cent of new players, only 15 percent are old ones, and
since we resume on 20th of October due to what we are going to face, we know
that it’s going to be a new team, and there’s need to regrouped earlier and so
far so good, just like I said last season that it will be different ball game,
we want to change the character of the team for better, we want to instill more
discipline and make the players get the zeal and motivation to do well.
We’ve
played four games and I think it’s look good with what the players have been
doing in training matches and I hope by the time we finish this Gold Cup, we
will be able to get our team completely ready for the league.
You may not be
completely rated with your past season’s performance as you came midway, but
what are your expectations as you get set for your acid test in the NPFL?
Last
season in the league, our target was to stabilize the team and make sure we remain
in the league, this season we want to see a better performance than that of
last season and that’s why we quickly identified our mistakes which was from
recruitment and we are working on that, we’ve gotten better players that will
help the team and by the grace of God this season we will be much better.
The fixtures for
the new  NPFL season will be out by
December 10, what are your expectations and how do you want your games to look
like?
We
are prepared for any team, looking at what we’ve done so far at this stage, I
think we are better ready than last season, we are 90 percent ready for the
league, this Gold Cup has helped to see some of the clubs we are to face in the
league, we’ve seen Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Sunshine Stars, MFM FC and Remo Stars
and others and we are hoping to end the new season better than last season.
Tornadoes look
like a new team, don’t you think mass exodus of players will affect your
ambition going into the new season?
Definitely
it will, and that’s why we resumed earlier and we’ve been able to get better
players to replace those that have gone, most of the players that are no longer
with us were dropped due to bad performance and lack of discipline, just few
players like Gabriel Wassa and Lukman Mohammed left on mutual agreement and
again we’ve improved the character of the team better than last season and we
believe everything will be fine for us this time around.
Are you more
challenged now to make a big impact with Tornadoes now that major
responsibility rest on your shoulder?
I
have to admit that the challenges are more now, as you know that I was with the
team last season and much is expected, like then I can have excuses that I’m
not the one that started with the team but now that I’m in charge of all
preparation and most especially I’m an indigenous coach from Niger State, the
pressure have been very enormous but by the grace of God we can withstand the
pressure and everything will go as planned for Tornadoes.
With the level of
confidence you have in your team, can you bold enough to say Tornadoes will win
the league this season?
I
cannot categorically state that we can, but we will make a very good impact this
new season, our target last season after gaining promotion was to remain, now
we will want to go a step further in that, I think a top with good performance
and result will make good season for us but if we see chances to win the league
we will utilize it.
What are you
telling the League Management Company, LMC to do now to better the NPFL than
last season?
Like
I always say, the two important areas for them to further work on are the
officiating and Sponsorship. If those aspects are improved upon, we will have a
better and interesting season than the previous ones.
What is your
message to numerous Niger Tornadoes’ fans and supporters?

They
should be patient with us, they should continue to rally behind us and pray for
our success and we promise them we will have a better season than that of last
season.

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