NPFL 2017: Plateau United On the edge of History

By
Andrew Randa
Plateau
United’s fairy tale in the Nigeria Professional Football League would be
complete if they get the job done over Rangers International of Enugu on the
final match-day at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos.
Not
many gave Kennedy Boboye and his wards a chance at the start of the season but
after putting in the leg work, the Jos-based side is unarguably the stand-out
team of the season.
Needing
a point to lay their hands on a first ever Nigeria Professional Football League
(NPFL) title, they will do all they can to put smiles on the faces of Jos fans
who have had to endure almost two decades of heartbreak.
No
major title has come to the North-central state since the 1999 Federation Cup
(now Aiteo Cup) when Donatus Iloka’s solitary goal crowned Plateau United
winners of the cup.
Npfl.ng
went around Jos to feel the pulse of the fans as the final game of the season
looms on the horizon. The frenzy and ‘noise’decibels have stepped a notch as a
lot of fans are already in a celebratory mood.
Their stories.
—Plangkat
Milaham, Jos-based Pharmacist

Plangkat Milaham
It
was exhilarating to see Plateau United promoted to Nigeria’s top-flight league
in 2015.
Fans
were also elated that there were great strides towards improving the club. The
appointment of  Zachary Baraje as coach, particularly
brought me great joy. At that moment, I knew the club was ready to play ball
and it wouldn’t be long before we clinched the League title.
2016
season was a great one. Our home record was amazing, it was beautiful seeing
Plateau United trounce visitors on home ground. We didn’t make the top four as
we finished sixth but we were excited.
Life
as a Plateau fan even got more exciting when Kennedy Boboye took over. We
expected more from the team this season and the boys didn’t fail to deliver.
Soon we will make history and be crowned champions of Nigeria.
I
love the team and the excitement they bring but my personal favourite player is
Daniel Itodo. I love him for his long throws. It’s always a delight seeing him
provide assists with long throw-ins from every part of the pitch.
Hopefully,
winning the league will be just the beginning because I believe our best years
are still to come.
—Shuaibu
Umoru, Financial Expert, Jos.
Shuaibu Umoru
Watching
Plateau United surge to the top of the table and at the cusp of victory is a
feeling I can’t explain. Personally, I wasn’t sure we were going to be in the
top three teams this season but the team has done quite well to get to this
level.
I
grew in Jos playing football for local teams and we all had dreams to play for
either Highlanders (as Plateau United was called then) or Mighty Jets and win
titles with them.
That
didn’t happen for me but I’m still overjoyed that by God’s grace the Nigeria
Professional Football League title will be coming to Jos.
I
watched Plateau United defeat Iwuanyanwu Nationale to win the FA Cup in 1999
and I thank God that I will see another title triumph with my beloved United. I
want to plead with the government to invest more in sports and youth
development because that is the future of any state or country.
Plateau
United’s success this season should show the government that sports and the
youth can bring glory to them.
For
me and my friends, we will be in at the stadium in Jos where hopefully we beat
Rangers International to win the title. I’m very excited right now.
Mary Dalyop.
Student, Plateau State Polytechnic
My
joy is so much that I cannot express it right now. I’m very sure the team will
do us proud and win the league. I’m a student but I always make out time to go
and watch the team play. I have been a fan of the team for the past four years
now and the journey has been remarkable I must admit.
One
thing that has really made me happy is that there is little or no rivalry now
between Plateau United and Mighty Jets. Everyone has come to support the team
unlike last season and a few seasons back when fans of Mighty Jets will come to
the stadium to cheer away teams.
We
do not see that again and I believe that is one of the reasons why the team has
been successful this season. I’m very happy and I hope the government will
continue to support the club when the CAF Champions League starts.
Yohanna Ibrahim,
Businessman, Jos.
I
was happy when Plateau United appointed Kennedy Boboye as the coach but I never
thought we will be in this position as we are right now.
To
be candid, I will be lying if I said I knew the league might be heading to Jos.
We only need to draw the last game to win the title but I never saw it coming.
I
give kudos to the management of the team, the players and the Governor for supporting
and motivating the team. You just need to go into town to see how people are
excited about the prospect of a first ever title for Plateau State.
One
thing that is happening without many people knowing is this success is
generating a lot of interest among the youths. If you go to many football
fields in Jos, you see young kids wanting to be Elisha Golbe or a Benjamin
Turba.
I
also saw a few last time I went to watch a local training practicing how to
throw the ball like Daniel Itodo does for Plateau United. Our impending victory
has made more young people to take football and training more serious.
Hopefully,
the government will key into this. I can’t wait for the final game of the
season and I hope the boy will make us proud.
Mr Sunday
Longbap. Chairman, Plateau State Football Association.
It
has been a very tough season for the team but I’m glad we are in a position to
celebrate and say we have done well for ourselves.

Sunday Longbap

I
must give kudos to the management of Plateau United for all they have done to
get the team to this level and top of the league.
The
players too have given their all and I must commend them for making Plateau
State proud. They gave their all on the pitch and have done Plateau State
proud. We had a mission this season and God had blessed us to be top of the
league and on the verge of winning the league. I and my board are extremely
happy that during our tenure, we were able to lead Plateau United to glory.
I
want to specifically thank his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Plateau
State Rt. Hon Simon Lalong for his unflinching support for the team.
He
has motivated the boys to do well and you know that nothing beats motivation.
His Excellency has shown that he is a man of his words and always fulfills his
promises. Youth development and sports have always been on top of his agenda
and this impending success is a testament to that.

I
want to thank him and the entire government for all they have done for the team
this season and by God’s grace on Sunday, we shall

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