NPFL Final Day: Makinwa Surprisingly Claims ABS achieved Success

By
Wale Mustapha

Ahead
the last match day of the season, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC
coach, Henry Makinwa undertook a self assessment of the side’s
performance and rated it as successful by the team’s set
objectives.

He
didn’t exactly say what that objective is or are but it is general
knowledge that the club is on the brink of relegating to the lower
division with a match away to Nasarawa United.

ABS
returned to the top flight last season from the second tier and
started their campaign on a bright note with impressive results and
exciting performances.

But
the Ilorin based club had a dip in form midway through the season and
shipped further down to relegation belt and are hoping to beat the
drop going into the final day of this season.

Keen
observers would reckon that the season has been miserable for ABS,
tagged as giant killers at some point in the campaign but Makinwa
won’t accept that rating and has argued that the club is champions
in their class and targets. Yet he admitted there have been issues
with funding which he attributed to be the major setback for the club
to compete against better funded opponents.

“It
has been a very productive, positive season, and we are champions in
terms of achieving our primary objectives which is empowerment for
the youths.

“We
are playing with school boys, we have almost 15 to 17 calls for these
boys to go to another bigger clubs, the objective is achieved
already, that’s what the proprietor (Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki)
wanted, to empower the youths.

“We
have Igbos, Hausa, Yoruba, Efik, Tivs, everybody in the team to be
empowered, but he said to us, pick the best legs irrespective of his
tribe, on merits and let them empower themselves and their families
and I think that one is achieved.

“To
compete with others is another question because we are playing and
competing with millionaire clubs, they have a lot of millions to buy
players, pay big bonuses and salaries to pick the best players all
over Africa.

“FC
IfeanyiUbah has almost seven to eight international players, Akwa
United, Enyimba Int’l, Plateau United all have big players, so it’s
very tough for us to compete,” Makinwa told npfl.ng

Makinwa
who played in Spain for Rayo Vallecano insists the blame for ABS’
dismal season should spread across everyone who has played any role
in the club including himself.

He
however called for more focus, support and commitment for the club to
end the season on a high.

“Of
course I won’t be able to say that, others could see it, maybe it’s
from players but I have my fault as well and everybody with the club
has his own part of the fault including the management, the players,
all of us. But I have tried to do things correctly on merit according
to my thinking and philosophy, so if I’ve done anything wrong I don’t
know may be people would see.

“If
I have the chance to be here again, I will do the same thing I’ve
been doing, nothing wrong about it, but if we (ABS FC) have money to
compete I bet you I will win the league without losing a game, if I
have some money other (clubs) have and the players I wanted to have I
will win the league unbeaten.

“I’m
happy we got over our last home game of the season with a win (ABS FC
came back from Angola down to beat Abia Warriors 2-1 last Sunday in
Ilorin) It was a tension soaked match and it was a big game because
we were a bit psychologically not stable, Abia were too physical but
I was positive we would turn it around and happy we did.

“We
are still pushing it (survival from relegation) to the last day in
the league, still the same intention, same approach, but with a
renewed focus, commitment and support from everybody in the team, we
hope to win there (against Nasarawa United in Lafia) and we hope
other teams get bad results so that we can stay up,” concludes
Makinwa.

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