Enyimba were the only Nigerian team that won their game convincingly in this weekend CAF continental game thrashing Vital’O of Burundi 5-1 in the CAF Champions League qualifiers.
However other teams from Nigeria struggled to make an impact with Warri Wolves losing 0-1 to Al-Merriekh while Nassarawa United recorded a slim 1-0 win over Constantine of Algeria.
Owngoalnigeria.com take a look at five possible reasons why Enyimba are performing better than other Nigeria teams on the continent.
1. PROPER AND EARLY RECRUITMENT
Well aware of the task in front of them, the People Elephant moved quickly after the end of the season to recruit the players they need to prosecute their campaign unlike other Nigerian teams who beefed up their squad quite late.
2. RETAINED MOST OF THEIR PLAYERS
They brought in more players than any other team in Nigeria but bar few areas the crux of their team from last season was untouched especially the backline where no new player was introduced with Coach Paul Aigbogun sticking with a back four of players who have been at the team for a while but other teams notably Warri Wolves lost the spine of the team that helped them finished second in the league.
3. NEAR PERFECT MIXTURE OF YOUNG PLAYERS AND EXPERIENCED PLAYERS
Although they have failed to make it to the group stage of the CAF Champions League the past three seasons players on the club’s book can’t be said to be inexperienced when it comes to the big game.
In goal Theophilus Affelokhai has wealth of experience playing at the big stage during his time with Kano Pillars while in front of him the evergreen Chinedu Udoji lead the line with his near 10 years experience of top flight football.
In the middle they brought in Ikechukwu Ibenegbu who needs no introduction in Nigeria and Africa as he is a veteran of league and continental games.
Mfon Udoh leads the line another who can’t be termed a green horn but all of this department mentioned have at least one youngster who provides the energy to keep the craft of the experienced one’s going.
4. ANYASI AGWU INFLUENCE
Knowing they have a management lead by the longest serving football club administrator in Nigeria keep the players at ease as they are fully aware they won’t be caught in the off field politics if need be due to the experience of the man behind the scene.
He has over 13 years of experience in CAF competition leading Enyimba to back to back victories in 2003 & 2004 besides that he is presently a serving member of the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
5. PROPER COACHING
With all due respect to the other coaches handling the remaining Nigeria teams on the Africa continent none of them can boast of a coach like Paul Aigbogun.
He has worked at the top clubs in Nigeria with success at almost every team and his job is best appreciated when you consider how easy the teams struggled after he left.
Also a stint in South Africa prepared the London trained coach adequately enough to assault on the Africa continent to so many lovers of the team he is their 12th player.