Written By Philip Ettedem
On Sunday the 1st of November Enyimba may have had one hand on the Nigerian premier league after they defeated their rivals Abia Warriors in Umuahia which brings them closer to their 7th premier league title on the streets of Aba there are sure going to be celebrations everywhere with the popular chants of Nzogbu Nzogbu Enyimba Enyi by the supporters who have waited for so long due to the dominance by their Northern rivals Kano Pillars for 4 straight years but in the midst of the celebrations everywhere let’s not get caught up in the frenzy and forget that there are still challenges ahead for Enyimba as they should be seeking to not only defend their title (which I believe is sealed already even though there’s a mathematical possibility that they can still lose their grip on the title race) but should also strive to make an impact on the continent it’s sometimes very disappointing where our clubs representing us on the continent are eliminated both in CAF champions league and the confederations cup no Nigerian clubside made it to the group stage
Every Nigerian fan can remember fondly when Enyimba dominated the continental scene in 2003 and 2004 winning it back to back as they were properly motivated by the former governor Orji Uzor Kalu through financial means and otherwise which made them go as far as beating ASEC MINOSAS in Abidjan and also defeated Esperance ,Ismaily on their way to becoming African champions but their worst run came when Orji Uzor Kalu left office with the new governor not having the same passion as his predecessor which saw them crash out in the group stage of the 2005 and 2006 season made a semi final appearance in 2008 and went on a 3 year hiatus before making another semi final appearance in 2011.
The point I am trying to make here is that their success should be sustained and transferred to the continent as Enyimba have players good enough to make an impact like Musa Najare also match winner Mfon Udoh not forgetting their captain Chinedu Udoji who has been like a Rock of Gibraltar in the defence they are as good as Vincent Enyeama, David Tyakase,Joetex Frimpong and Obinna Nwaneri just to mention a few . To ensure success in the domestic and continental level they have to strive to keep the key players from not going for trial abroad and ensure they play pre-season games which will keep the players fit with the knowledge that the Nigerian League won’t start when the Champions league qualifier comes around this and many more like administrative guile in the mould of Felix Anyansi Agwu and players shouldn’t just be bought for the sake of it but they must be motivated to go and perform exploits and strengthen the team and not to use it as an avenue to go for trials abroad this and many more will ensure their road to recovery is not short lived so that come November we will all be singing Nzogbu Nzogbu Enyimba Enyi when hopefully they will win the CAF champions league